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1.  Preserved endothelium-dependent dilatation of the coronary microvasculature at the early phase of diabetes mellitus despite the increased oxidative stress and depressed cardiac mechanical function ex vivo 
There has been accumulating evidence associating diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular dysfunctions. However, most of the studies are focused on the late stages of diabetes and on the function of large arteries. This study aimed at characterizing the effects of the early phase of diabetes mellitus on the cardiac and vascular function with focus on the intact coronary microvasculature and the oxidative stress involved.
Materials and methods
Zucker diabetic fatty rats and their lean littermates fed with standard diet A04 (Safe) were studied at the 11th week of age. Biochemical parameters such as glucose, insulin and triglycerides levels as well as their oxidative stress status were measured. Their hearts were perfused ex vivo according to Langendorff and their cardiac activity and coronary microvascular reactivity were evaluated.
Zucker fatty rats already exhibited a diabetic state at this age as demonstrated by the elevated levels of plasma glucose, insulin, glycated hemoglobin and triglycerides. The ex vivo perfusion of their hearts revealed a decreased cardiac mechanical function and coronary flow. This was accompanied by an increase in the overall oxidative stress of the organs. However, estimation of the active form of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and coronary reactivity indicated a preserved function of the coronary microvessels at this phase of the disease. Diabetes affected also the cardiac membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition by increasing the arachidonic acid and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids levels.
The presence of diabetes, even at its beginning, significantly increased the overall oxidative stress of the organs resulting to decreased cardiac mechanical activity ex vivo. However, adaptations were adopted at this early phase of the disease regarding the preserved coronary microvascular reactivity and the associated cardiac phospholipid composition in order to provide a certain protection to the heart.
PMCID: PMC3620680  PMID: 23530768
Diabetes mellitus; Insulin resistance; Coronary reactivity; Microvasculature; Mechanical function; Oxidative stress
2.  Middle age aggravates myocardial ischemia through surprising upholding of complex II activity, oxidative stress, and reduced coronary perfusion 
Age  2010;33(3):321-336.
Aging compromises restoration of the cardiac mechanical function during reperfusion. We hypothesized that this was due to an ampler release of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study aimed at characterising ex vivo the mitochondrial ROS release during reperfusion in isolated perfused hearts of middle-aged rats. Causes and consequences on myocardial function of the observed changes were then evaluated. The hearts of rats aged 10- or 52-week old were subjected to global ischemia followed by reperfusion. Mechanical function was monitored throughout the entire procedure. Activities of the respiratory chain complexes and the ratio of aconitase to fumarase activities were determined before ischemia and at the end of reperfusion. H2O2 release was also evaluated in isolated mitochondria. During ischemia, middle-aged hearts displayed a delayed contracture, suggesting a maintained ATP production but also an increased metabolic proton production. Restoration of the mechanical function during reperfusion was however reduced in the middle-aged hearts, due to lower recovery of the coronary flow associated with higher mitochondrial oxidative stress indicated by the aconitase to fumarase ratio in the cardiac tissues. Surprisingly, activity of the respiratory chain complex II was better maintained in the hearts of middle-aged animals, probably because of an enhanced preservation of its membrane lipid environment. This can explain the higher mitochondrial oxidative stress observed in these conditions, since cardiac mitochondria produce much more H2O2 when they oxidize FADH2-linked substrates than when they use NADH-linked substrates. In conclusion, the lower restoration of the cardiac mechanical activity during reperfusion in the middle-aged hearts was due to an impaired recovery of the coronary flow and an insufficient oxygen supply. The deterioration of the coronary perfusion was explained by an increased mitochondrial ROS release related to the preservation of complex II activity during reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3168590  PMID: 20878490
Myocardial aging; Ischemia; Oxidative stress; Respiratory chain complexes

Results 1-2 (2)