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1.  Targeting metabolic disturbance in the diabetic heart 
Diabetic cardiomyopathy is defined as ventricular dysfunction initiated by alterations in cardiac energy substrates in the absence of coronary artery disease and hypertension. In addition to the demonstrated burden of cardiovascular events associated with diabetes, diabetic cardiomyopathy partly explains why diabetic patients are subject to a greater risk of heart failure and a worse outcome after myocardial ischemia. The raising prevalence and accumulating costs of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients underscore the deficiencies of tertiary prevention and call for a shift in medical treatment. It is becoming increasingly clearer that the effective prevention and treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy require measures to regulate the metabolic derangement occurring in the heart rather than merely restoring suitable systemic parameters. Recent research has provided deeper insight into the metabolic etiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy and numerous heart-specific targets that may substitute or reinforce current strategies. From both experimental and translational perspectives, in this review we first discuss the progress made with conventional therapies, and then focus on the need for prospective metabolic targets that may avert myocardial vulnerability and functional decline in next-generation diabetic care.
doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0173-8
PMCID: PMC4328972
Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Metformin; Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; Glucagon-like protein-1; Advanced glycation end-products; Statins; Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor agonists; Fatty acid translocase/cluster of differentiation-36; Toll-like receptor-4; Nod-like receptor-3
2.  Crosstalk between advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-receptor RAGE axis and dipeptidyl peptidase-4-incretin system in diabetic vascular complications 
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) consist of heterogenous group of macroprotein derivatives, which are formed by non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and amino groups of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, and whose process has progressed at an accelerated rate under diabetes. Non-enzymatic glycation and cross-linking of protein alter its structural integrity and function, contributing to the aging of macromolecules. Furthermore, engagement of receptor for AGEs (RAGE) with AGEs elicits oxidative stress generation and subsequently evokes proliferative, inflammatory, and fibrotic reactions in a variety of cells. Indeed, accumulating evidence has suggested the active involvement of accumulation of AGEs in diabetes-associated disorders such as diabetic microangiopathy, atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are incretins, gut hormones secreted from the intestine in response to food intake, both of which augment glucose-induced insulin release, suppress glucagon secretion, and slow gastric emptying. Since GLP-1 and GIP are rapidly degraded and inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), inhibition of DPP-4 and/or DPP-4-resistant GLP-1 analogues have been proposed as a potential target for the treatment of diabetes. Recently, DPP-4 has been shown to cleave multiple peptides, and blockade of DPP-4 could exert diverse biological actions in GLP-1- or GIP-independent manner. This article summarizes the crosstalk between AGEs-RAGE axis and DPP-4-incretin system in the development and progression of diabetes-associated disorders and its therapeutic intervention, especially focusing on diabetic vascular complications.
doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0176-5
PMCID: PMC4298871  PMID: 25582643
AGEs; RAGE; Incretin; DPP-4; Oxidative stress
3.  Hypertriglyceridemia: a too long unfairly neglected major cardiovascular risk factor 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):159.
The existence of an independent association between elevated triglyceride (TG) levels, cardiovascular (CV) risk and mortality has been largely controversial. The main difficulty in isolating the effect of hypertriglyceridemia on CV risk is the fact that elevated triglyceride levels are commonly associated with concomitant changes in high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and other lipoproteins. As a result of this problem and in disregard of the real biological role of TG, its significance as a plausible therapeutic target was unfoundedly underestimated for many years. However, taking epidemiological data together, both moderate and severe hypertriglyceridaemia are associated with a substantially increased long term total mortality and CV risk. Plasma TG levels partially reflect the concentration of the triglyceride-carrying lipoproteins (TRL): very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), chylomicrons and their remnants. Furthermore, hypertriglyceridemia commonly leads to reduction in HDL and increase in atherogenic small dense LDL levels. TG may also stimulate atherogenesis by mechanisms, such excessive free fatty acids (FFA) release, production of proinflammatory cytokines, fibrinogen, coagulation factors and impairment of fibrinolysis. Genetic studies strongly support hypertriglyceridemia and high concentrations of TRL as causal risk factors for CV disease. The most common forms of hypertriglyceridemia are related to overweight and sedentary life style, which in turn lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Intensive lifestyle therapy is the main initial treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. Statins are a cornerstone of the modern lipids-modifying therapy. If the primary goal is to lower TG levels, fibrates (bezafibrate and fenofibrate for monotherapy, and in combination with statin; gemfibrozil only for monotherapy) could be the preferable drugs. Also ezetimibe has mild positive effects in lowering TG. Initial experience with en ezetimibe/fibrates combination seems promising. The recently released IMPROVE-IT Trial is the first to prove that adding a non-statin drug (ezetimibe) to a statin lowers the risk of future CV events. In conclusion, the classical clinical paradigm of lipids-modifying treatment should be changed and high TG should be recognized as an important target for therapy in their own right. Hypertriglyceridemia should be treated.
doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0159-y
PMCID: PMC4264548  PMID: 25471221
Cardiovascular risk; Cholesterol; Fibrates; Hypertriglyceridemia; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Statins; Triglycerides; Type 2 diabetes
4.  Cardiovascular effects of Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):142.
Patients with type 2 diabetes have a several-fold increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease when compared with nondiabetic controls. Myocardial infarction and stroke are responsible for 75% of all death in patients with diabetes, who present a 2-4× increased incidence of death from coronary artery disease. Patients with diabetes are considered for cardiovascular disease secondary prevention because their risk level is similar to that reported in patients without diabetes who have already suffered a myocardial infarction. More recently, with a better risk factors control, mainly in intensive LDL cholesterol targets with statins, a significant decrease in acute cardiovascular events was observed in population with diabetes. Together with other major risk factors, type 2 diabetes must be considered as an important cause of cardiovascular disease.
Glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists represent a novel class of anti-hyperglycemic agents that have a cardiac-friendly profile, preserve neuronal cells and inhibit neuronal degeneration, an anti-inflammatory effect in liver protecting it against steatosis, increase insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss, and increase satiety or anorexia.
This review is intended to rationally compile the multifactorial cardiovascular effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists available for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0142-7
PMCID: PMC4216654  PMID: 25338737
5.  Adiponectin: a manifold therapeutic target for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and coronary disease? 
Adiponectin is the most abundant peptide secreted by adipocytes, being a key component in the interrelationship between adiposity, insulin resistance and inflammation. Central obesity accompanied by insulin resistance is a key factor in the development of metabolic syndrome (MS) and future macrovascular complications. Moreover, the remarkable correlation between coronary artery disease (CAD) and alterations in glucose metabolism has raised the likelihood that atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may share a common biological background. We summarize here the current knowledge about the influence of adiponectin on insulin sensitivity and endothelial function, discussing its forthcoming prospects and potential role as a therapeutic target for MS, T2DM, and cardiovascular disease. Adiponectin is present in the circulation as a dimer, trimer or protein complex of high molecular weight hexamers, >400 kDa. AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 are its major receptors in vivo mediating the metabolic actions. Adiponectin stimulates phosphorylation and AMP (adenosin mono phosphate) kinase activation, exerting direct effects on vascular endothelium, diminishing the inflammatory response to mechanical injury and enhancing endothelium protection in cases of apolipoprotein E deficiency. Hypoadiponectinemia is consistently associated with obesity, MS, atherosclerosis, CAD, T2DM. Lifestyle correction helps to favorably modify plasma adiponectin levels. Low adiponectinemia in obese patients is raised via continued weight loss programs in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals and is also accompanied by reductions in pro-inflammatory factors. Diet modifications, like intake of fish, omega-3 supplementation, adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern and coffee consumption also increase adiponectin levels. Antidiabetic and cardiovascular pharmacological agents, like glitazones, glimepiride, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are also able to improve adiponectin concentration. Fibric acid derivatives, like bezafibrate and fenofibrate, have been reported to enhance adiponectin levels as well. T-cadherin, a membrane-associated adiponectin-binding protein lacking intracellular domain seems to be a main mediator of the antiatherogenic adiponectin actions. The finding of novel pharmacologic agents proficient to improve adiponectin plasma levels should be target of exhaustive research. Interesting future approaches could be the development of adiponectin-targeted drugs chemically designed to induce the activaton of its receptors and/or postreceptor signaling pathways, or the development of specific adiponectin agonists.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-103
PMCID: PMC4230016  PMID: 24957699
Adipokines; Adiponectin; Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery disease; Diabetes mellitus; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; T-cadherin
6.  On the potential of acarbose to reduce cardiovascular disease 
In the emerging landscape of cardiovascular (CV) outcome trials evaluating the effects of blood glucose lowering drugs in individuals with type 2 diabetes, it is becoming increasingly apparent that since the promising signals coming from the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) no unequivocal benefits have been established for any single therapy thus far. There is an unmet need for introducing an effective pharmacological agent which could target both correlates of glycaemic regulation and CV risk factors, to ameliorate the enormous burden of fatal and non-fatal CV events in diabetic patients. Acarbose, like other alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs), has been proven to be an effective antidiabetic treatment for decades, but the overall significant impact of this class of drugs on modulating CV risk has only recently been appreciated. Accumulating evidence has shown that apart from its multiple effects on primarily postprandial glucose dysmetabolism, a key component of mechanisms linked to increased incidence of CV events, acarbose therapy also associates with a favorable impact on an array of surrogate markers of CV disease. Data stemming from in vitro testing of human cell lines as well as from preliminary trials in diabetic populations, like the Study to Prevent Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (STOP-NIDDM) trial, have highlighted – though not undisputed – the potential beneficial effects of the drug on CV morbidity. Large scale trials, like the ongoing Acarbose Cardiovascular Evaluation (ACE) trial, aim at conclusively establishing such a positive effect in patients with coronary heart disease and impaired glucose tolerance. In view of its usually acceptable level of side effects that are, if they occur, mostly limited to transient gastrointestinal symptoms, acarbose could well be a strong future player in CV disease secondary prevention. Current discouraging results from many trials of antidiabetic medications to significantly lower CV event rates in diabetic patients, should only draw further attention on alternative glucose lowering agents, among which acarbose is indeed promising.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-81
PMCID: PMC3996310  PMID: 24742256
Acarbose; Cardiovascular; Prevention; Diabetes; Hyperglycaemia; Postprandial
7.  Cardiovascular microRNAs: as modulators and diagnostic biomarkers of diabetic heart disease 
Diabetic heart disease (DHD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among the people with diabetes, with approximately 80% of the deaths in diabetics are due to cardiovascular complications. Importantly, heart disease in the diabetics develop at a much earlier stage, although remaining asymptomatic till the later stage of the disease, thereby restricting its early detection and active therapeutic management. Thus, a better understanding of the modulators involved in the pathophysiology of DHD is necessary for the early diagnosis and development of novel therapeutic implications for diabetes-associated cardiovascular complications. microRNAs (miRs) have recently been evolved as key players in the various cardiovascular events through the regulation of cardiac gene expression. Besides their credible involvement in controlling the cellular processes, they are also released in to the circulation in disease states where they serve as potential diagnostic biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. However, their potential role in DHD as modulators as well as diagnostic biomarkers is largely unexplored. In this review, we describe the putative mechanisms of the selected cardiovascular miRs in relation to cardiovascular diseases and discuss their possible involvement in the pathophysiology and early diagnosis of DHD.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-44
PMCID: PMC3976030  PMID: 24528626
Diabetic heart disease; Subclinical disease; MicroRNA; Cardiac gene expression; Diagnostic biomarkers
8.  Residual macrovascular risk in 2013: what have we learned? 
Cardiovascular disease poses a major challenge for the 21st century, exacerbated by the pandemics of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. While best standards of care, including high-dose statins, can ameliorate the risk of vascular complications, patients remain at high risk of cardiovascular events. The Residual Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) has previously highlighted atherogenic dyslipidaemia, defined as the imbalance between proatherogenic triglyceride-rich apolipoprotein B-containing-lipoproteins and antiatherogenic apolipoprotein A-I-lipoproteins (as in high-density lipoprotein, HDL), as an important modifiable contributor to lipid-related residual cardiovascular risk, especially in insulin-resistant conditions. As part of its mission to improve awareness and clinical management of atherogenic dyslipidaemia, the R3i has identified three key priorities for action: i) to improve recognition of atherogenic dyslipidaemia in patients at high cardiometabolic risk with or without diabetes; ii) to improve implementation and adherence to guideline-based therapies; and iii) to improve therapeutic strategies for managing atherogenic dyslipidaemia. The R3i believes that monitoring of non-HDL cholesterol provides a simple, practical tool for treatment decisions regarding the management of lipid-related residual cardiovascular risk. Addition of a fibrate, niacin (North and South America), omega-3 fatty acids or ezetimibe are all options for combination with a statin to further reduce non-HDL cholesterol, although lacking in hard evidence for cardiovascular outcome benefits. Several emerging treatments may offer promise. These include the next generation peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα agonists, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors and monoclonal antibody therapy targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9. However, long-term outcomes and safety data are clearly needed. In conclusion, the R3i believes that ongoing trials with these novel treatments may help to define the optimal management of atherogenic dyslipidaemia to reduce the clinical and socioeconomic burden of residual cardiovascular risk.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-26
PMCID: PMC3922777  PMID: 24460800
Residual cardiovascular risk; Atherogenic dyslipidaemia; Type 2 diabetes; Therapeutic options
9.  Do incretins improve endothelial function? 
An impaired endothelial function has been recognized in the early stage of atherosclerosis, and is a major factor affecting the future development of cardiovascular events. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is widely prevalent, and is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. T2DM is associated with increases in both morbidity and mortality, particularly from cardiovascular disease.
New therapies based on the incretin hormone and its actions are now becoming widely used, and appear to offer advantages over conventional therapies by keeping the body weight steady and limiting hypoglycemia, while also achieving attractive glycemic control. However, there is little data available about the effects of incretins on the cardiovascular system.
This review will focus on the effects of incretin therapies, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors, on the endothelial function, and will discuss the potential mechanisms underlying these effects.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-21
PMCID: PMC3898564  PMID: 24428883
Incretin; GLP-1; DPP-4 inhibitor; Endothelial function; Diabetes mellitus type 2
10.  Optimising cardioprotection during myocardial ischaemia: targeting potential intracellular pathways with glucagon-like peptide-1 
Coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes are both major global health burdens associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Following MI, ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) remains a significant contributor to myocardial injury at the cellular level. Research has focussed on identifying a strategy or intervention to minimise IRI to optimise reperfusion therapy, with the aim of delivering a superior clinical outcome. The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1, already an established basis for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, also has the potential to protect against IRI. We explain the physiology and cellular processes involved in IRI, and the intracellular pathways activated by GLP-1, which could intercept IRI and deliver cardioprotection. The review also examines the current preclinical and clinical evidence for GLP-1 in cardioprotection and future directions for research as we look for an effective adjunctive treatment to minimise IRI.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-12
PMCID: PMC3893610  PMID: 24410815
GLP-1; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Incretin; Ischaemia; Ischaemia-reperfusion; Cardioprotection; Myocardial metabolism; Diabetes; Percutaneous coronary intervention; Myocardial infarction
11.  Type 1 diabetes and cardiovascular disease 
The presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Type 1 diabetes largely impairs life expectancy. Hyperglycemia leading to an increase in oxidative stress is considered to be the key pathophysiological factor of both micro- and macrovascular complications. In Type 1 diabetes, the presence of coronary calcifications is also related to coronary artery disease. Cardiac autonomic neuropathy, which significantly impairs myocardial function and blood flow, also enhances cardiac abnormalities. Also hypoglycemic episodes are considered to adversely influence cardiac performance. Intensive insulin therapy has been demonstrated to reduce the occurrence and progression of both micro- and macrovascular complications. This has been evidenced by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) / Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study. The concept of a metabolic memory emerged based on the results of the study, which established that intensified insulin therapy is the standard of treatment of Type 1 diabetes. Future therapies may also include glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-based treatment therapies. Pilot studies with GLP-1-analogues have been shown to reduce insulin requirements.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-156
PMCID: PMC3816572  PMID: 24165454
Type 1 diabetes; Cardiovascular disease
12.  Cardiac implications of hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes – a systematic review 
Background
Hypoglycaemia has been associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) risk and mortality in a number of recent multicentre trials, but the mechanistic links driving this association remain ill defined. This review aims to summarize the available data on how hypoglycaemia may affect CV risk in patients with diabetes.
Methods
This was a systematic review of available mechanistic and clinical studies on the relationship between hypoglycaemia and cardiovascular risk. Study outcomes were compiled from relevant articles, and factors contributing to hypoglycaemia-mediated CVD and its complications are discussed.
Results
Six recent comprehensive clinical trials have reinforced the critical importance of understanding the link between hypoglycaemia and the CV system. In addition, 88 studies have indicated that hypoglycaemia mechanistically contributes to CV risk by increasing thrombotic tendency, causing abnormal cardiac repolarization, inducing inflammation, and contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. These hypoglycaemia-associated risk factors are conducive to events such as unstable angina, non-fatal and fatal myocardial infarction, sudden death, and stroke in patients with diabetes.
Conclusions
Emerging data suggest that there is an impact of hypoglycaemia on CV function and mechanistic link is multifactorial. Further research will be needed to ascertain the full impact of hypoglycaemia on the CV system and its complications.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-135
PMCID: PMC3849493  PMID: 24053606
Hypoglycaemia; Cardiovascular risk; Arrhythmia; Continuous glucose monitoring; Randomized controlled trials
13.  The cardiovascular safety of incretin-based therapies: a review of the evidence 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in people with diabetes and therefore managing cardiovascular (CV) risk is a critical component of diabetes care. As incretin-based therapies are effective recent additions to the glucose-lowering treatment armamentarium for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), understanding their CV safety profiles is of great importance. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have been associated with beneficial effects on CV risk factors, including weight, blood pressure and lipid profiles. Encouragingly, mechanistic studies in preclinical models and in patients with acute coronary syndrome suggest a potential cardioprotective effect of native GLP-1 or GLP-1 receptor agonists following ischaemia. Moreover, meta-analyses of phase 3 development programme data indicate no increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) with incretin-based therapies. Large randomized controlled trials designed to evaluate long-term CV outcomes with incretin-based therapies in individuals with T2D are now in progress, with the first two reporting as this article went to press.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-130
PMCID: PMC3847044  PMID: 24011363
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Cardiovascular safety; Incretin; GLP-1; GLP-1 receptor agonists; DPP-4 inhibitors
14.  Dual renin-angiotensin system inhibition for prevention of renal and cardiovascular events: do the latest trials challenge existing evidence? 
Circulatory and tissue renin-angiotensin systems (RAS) play a central role in cardiovascular (CV) and renal pathophysiology, making RAS inhibition a logical therapeutic approach in the prevention of CV and renal disease in patients with hypertension. The cardio- and renoprotective effects observed with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) monotherapy, together with the availability of a direct renin inhibitor (DRI), led to the investigation of the potential benefits of dual RAS inhibition. In small studies, ARB and ACE inhibitor combinations were shown to be beneficial in patients with CV or renal disease, with improvement in surrogate markers. However, in larger outcome trials, involving combinations of ACE inhibitors, ARBs or DRIs, dual RAS inhibition did not show reduction in mortality in patients with diabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease or after myocardial infarction, and was in fact, associated with increased harm. A recent meta-analysis of all major trials conducted over the past 22 years involving dual RAS inhibition has clearly shown that the risk-benefit ratio argues against the use of dual RAS inhibition. Hence, the recent evidence clearly advocates against the use of dual RAS inhibition, and single RAS inhibition appears to be the most suitable approach to controlling blood pressure and improving patient outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-108
PMCID: PMC3726294  PMID: 23866091
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; Angiotensin II receptor blockers; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Dual renin-angiotensin system inhibition; Direct renin inhibitors; Outcomes; Renal disease
15.  Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and protective effects in cardiovascular disease: a new therapeutic approach for myocardial protection 
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a member of the proglucagon incretin family implicated in the control of appetite and satiety. GLP-1 has insulinotropic, insulinomimetic, and glucagonostatic effects, thereby exerting multiple complementary actions to lower blood glucose in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A major advantage over conventional insulin is the fact that the insulinotropic actions of GLP-1 are dependent upon ambient glucose concentration, mitigating the risks of hypoglycemia. Recently, the crucial role of GLP-1 in cardiovascular disease has been suggested in both preclinical and clinical studies. The experimental data indicate GLP-1 and its analogs to have direct effects on the cardiovascular system, in addition to their classic glucoregulatory actions. Clinically, beneficial effects of GLP-1 have also been demonstrated in patients with myocardial ischemia and heart failure. GLP-1 has recently been demonstrated to be a more effective alternative in treating myocardial injury. This paper provides a review on the current evidence supporting the use of GLP-1 in experimental animal models and human trials with the ischemic and non-ischemic heart and discusses their molecular mechanisms and potential as a new therapeutic approach.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-90
PMCID: PMC3700838  PMID: 23777457
GLP-1; Insulin resistance; Heart; Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes
16.  Selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα modulators (SPPARMα): The next generation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α-agonists 
Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease – the primary cause of death, worldwide. Although reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol can significantly reduce CV risk, a high level of residual risk persists, especially in people with obesity-related conditions, such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha- (PPARα-) agonists (e.g. fibrates), play a central role in the reduction of macro- and microvascular risk in these patients. However, the currently available fibrates are weak (PPARα-agonists) with limited efficacy due to dose-related adverse effects. To address this problem, a new generation of highly potent and selective PPARα-modulators (SPPARMα) is being developed that separate the benefits of the PPARα-agonists from their unwanted side effects. Among these, aleglitazar (a dual PPARα/γ agonist) and GFT505 (a dual PPAR α/δ agonist) have recently entered late-phase development. Although both compounds are more potent PPARα-activators than fenofibrate in vitro, only aleglitezar is more effective in lowering triglycerides and raising high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) in humans. However, it is also associated with a potential risk of adverse effects. More recently, a highly potent, specific PPARα-agonist (K-877) has emerged with SPPARMα characteristics. Compared to fenofibrate, K-877 has more potent PPARα-activating efficacy in vitro, greater effects on triglycerides- and HDL-C levels in humans, and a reduced risk of adverse effects. If successful, K-877 has the potential to supersede the fibrates as the treatment of choice for patients with residual CV risk associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-82
PMCID: PMC3682868  PMID: 23721199
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor; Fibrate; SPPARM; K-877; Cardiovascular; Diabetes; Metabolic syndrome
17.  The role of co-morbidity in the selection of antidiabetic pharmacotherapy in type-2 diabetes 
Metformin is, if not contraindicated and if tolerated, usually preferred over other antidiabetic drugs for the first line treatment of type-2 diabetes. The particular decision on which antidiabetic agent to use is based on variables such as efficacy, cost, potential side effects, effects on weight, comorbidities, hypoglycemia, risk, and patient preferences. However, there is no guidance how to consider these in the selection of antidiabetic drug treatment. In this work, we aimed to summarize available evidence and tried to give pragmatic treatment recommendations from a clinical practice perspective.
There are clear contraindications for some drugs in those with impaired renal and liver function and precautions in those with heart failure for the use of metformin (NYHA III-IV) and glitazones. On the other hand, GLP-1 analogs, DPP-4 inhibitors and acarbose are generally less critical and can be used in the majority of patients. We identified the following gaps with respect to the selection of antidiabetic drug treatment in patients with co-morbid disease conditions: 1) Guidelines fail to give advice on the use of specific antidiabetic drugs in patients with co-morbidity. 2) The literature is deficient in studies documenting antidiabetic drug use in patients with severely impaired renal function, diabetic retinopathy, cerebrovascular disease and systolic heart failure. 3) Further there are no specific data on patients with multiple of these co-morbid disease conditions. We postulate that differential use of antidiabetic drugs in patients with co-morbid disease constellations will help to reduce treatment related complications and might improve prognosis.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-62
PMCID: PMC3664601  PMID: 23574917
18.  Diabetes, perioperative ischaemia and volatile anaesthetics: consequences of derangements in myocardial substrate metabolism 
Volatile anaesthetics exert protective effects on the heart against perioperative ischaemic injury. However, there is growing evidence that these cardioprotective properties are reduced in case of type 2 diabetes mellitus. A strong predictor of postoperative cardiac function is myocardial substrate metabolism. In the type 2 diabetic heart, substrate metabolism is shifted from glucose utilisation to fatty acid oxidation, resulting in metabolic inflexibility and cardiac dysfunction. The ischaemic heart also loses its metabolic flexibility and can switch to glucose or fatty acid oxidation as its preferential state, which may deteriorate cardiac function even further in case of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Recent experimental studies suggest that the cardioprotective properties of volatile anaesthetics partly rely on changing myocardial substrate metabolism. Interventions that target at restoration of metabolic derangements, like lifestyle and pharmacological interventions, may therefore be an interesting candidate to reduce perioperative complications. This review will focus on the current knowledge regarding myocardial substrate metabolism during volatile anaesthesia in the obese and type 2 diabetic heart during perioperative ischaemia.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-42
PMCID: PMC3599199  PMID: 23452502
Volatile anaesthetics; Substrate metabolism; Ischaemia; Diabetes; Heart
19.  Balanced pan-PPAR activator bezafibrate in combination with statin: comprehensive lipids control and diabetes prevention? 
All fibrates are peroxisome proliferators-activated receptors (PPARs)-alpha agonists with ability to decrease triglyceride and increase high density lipoprotein- cholesterol (HDL-C). However, bezafibrate has a unique characteristic profile of action since it activates all three PPAR subtypes (alpha, gamma and delta) at comparable doses. Therefore, bezafibrate operates as a pan-agonist for all three PPAR isoforms. Selective PPAR gamma agonists (thiazolidinediones) are used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). They improve insulin sensitivity by up-regulating adipogenesis, decreasing free fatty acid levels, and reversing insulin resistance. However, selective PPAR gamma agonists also cause water retention, weight gain, peripheral edema, and congestive heart failure. The expression of PPAR beta/ delta in essentially all cell types and tissues (ubiquitous presence) suggests its potential fundamental role in cellular biology. PPAR beta/ delta effects correlated with enhancement of fatty acid oxidation, energy consumption and adaptive thermogenesis. Together, these data implicate PPAR beta/delta in fuel combustion and suggest that pan-PPAR agonists that include a component of PPAR beta/delta activation might offset some of the weight gain issues seen with selective PPAR gamma agonists, as was demonstrated by bezafibrate studies. Suggestively, on the whole body level all PPARs acting as one orchestra and balanced pan-PPAR activation seems as an especially attractive pharmacological goal. Conceptually, combined PPAR gamma and alpha action can target simultaneously insulin resistance and atherogenic dyslipidemia, whereas PPAR beta/delta properties may prevent the development of overweight. Bezafibrate, as all fibrates, significantly reduced plasma triglycerides and increased HDL-C level (but considerably stronger than other major fibrates). Bezafibrate significantly decreased prevalence of small, dense low density lipoproteins particles, remnants, induced atherosclerotic plaque regression in thoracic and abdominal aorta and improved endothelial function. In addition, bezafibrate has important fibrinogen-related properties and anti-inflammatory effects. In clinical trials bezafibrate was highly effective for cardiovascular risk reduction in patients with metabolic syndrome and atherogenic dyslipidemia. The principal differences between bezafibrate and other fibrates are related to effects on glucose level and insulin resistance. Bezafibrate decreases blood glucose level, HbA1C, insulin resistance and reduces the incidence of T2DM compared to placebo or other fibrates. Currently statins are the cornerstone of the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases related to atherosclerosis. However, despite the increasing use of statins as monotherapy for low density lipoprotein- cholesterol (LDL-C) reduction, a significant residual cardiovascular risk is still presented in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, which is typical for T2DM and metabolic syndrome. Recently, concerns were raised regarding the development of diabetes in statin-treated patients. Combined bezafibrate/statin therapy is more effective in achieving a comprehensive lipid control and residual cardiovascular risk reduction. Based on the beneficial effects of pan-PPAR agonist bezafibrate on glucose metabolism and prevention of new-onset diabetes, one could expect a neutralization of the adverse pro-diabetic effect of statins using the strategy of a combined statin/fibrate therapy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-140
PMCID: PMC3502168  PMID: 23150952
Atherogenic dyslipidemia; Bezafibrate; Combined fibrate/statin therapy; Metabolic syndrome; PPAR; Prevention; Residual cardiovascular risk; Type 2 diabetes
20.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and glucose metabolism: a bitter sweet symphony 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus are common and underdiagnosed medical conditions. It was predicted that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020. The healthcare burden of this disease is even greater if we consider the significant impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be considered as a novel risk factor for new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus via multiple pathophysiological alterations such as: inflammation and oxidative stress, insulin resistance, weight gain and alterations in metabolism of adipokines.
On the other hand, diabetes may act as an independent factor, negatively affecting pulmonary structure and function. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of pulmonary infections, disease exacerbations and worsened COPD outcomes. On the top of that, coexistent OSA may increase the risk for type 2 DM in some individuals.
The current scientific data necessitate a greater outlook on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be viewed as a risk factor for the new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. Conversely, both types of diabetes mellitus should be viewed as strong contributing factors for the development of obstructive lung disease. Such approach can potentially improve the outcomes and medical control for both conditions, and, thus, decrease the healthcare burden of these major medical problems.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-132
PMCID: PMC3499352  PMID: 23101436
COPD; Dysglycemia; Insulin resistance; Obesity; Metabolic syndrome; Diabetes mellitus endothelial dysfunction; Vasculopathy
21.  Fibrates are an essential part of modern anti-dyslipidemic arsenal: spotlight on atherogenic dyslipidemia and residual risk reduction 
Currently the world faces epidemic of several closely related conditions: obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The lipid profile of these patients and those with metabolic syndrome is characterized by the concurrent presence of qualitative as well as quantitative lipoprotein abnormalities: low levels of HDL, increased triglycerides, and prevalence of LDL particles that are smaller and denser than normal. This lipid phenotype has been defined as atherogenic dyslipidemia. Overwhelming evidences demonstrate that all components of the atherogenic dyslipidemia are important risk-factors for cardiovascular diseases. Optimal reduction of cardiovascular risk through comprehensive management of atherogenic dyslipidemias basically depends of the presence of efficacious lipid-modulating agents (beyond statin-based reduction of LDL-C). The most important class of medications which can be effectively used nowadays to combat atherogenic dyslipidemias is the fibrates. From a clinical point of view, in all available 5 randomized control trials beneficial effects of major fibrates (gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, bezafibrate) were clearly demonstrated and were highly significant in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia. In these circumstances, the main determinant of the overall results of the trial is mainly dependent of the number of the included appropriate patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia. In a meta-analysis of dyslipidemic subgroups totaling 4726 patients a significant 35% relative risk reduction in cardiovascular events was observed compared with a non significant 6% reduction in those without dyslipidemia. However, different fibrates may have a somewhat different spectrum of effects. Currently only fenofibrate was investigated and proved to be effective in reducing microvascular complications of diabetes. Bezafibrate reduced the severity of intermittent claudication. Cardinal differences between bezafibrate and other fibrates are related to the effects on glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Bezafibrate is the only clinically available pan - (alpha, beta, gamma) PPAR balanced activator. Bezafibrate decreases blood glucose level, HbA1C, insulin resistance and reduces the incidence of T2DM compared to placebo or other fibrates. Among major fibrates, bezafibrate appears to have the strongest and fenofibrate the weakest effect on HDL-C. Current therapeutic use of statins as monotherapy is still leaving many patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia at high risk for coronary events because even intensive statin therapy does not eliminate the residual cardiovascular risk associated with low HDL and/or high triglycerides. As compared with statin monotherapy (effective mainly on LDL-C levels and plaque stabilization), the association of a statin with a fibrate will also have a major impact on triglycerides, HDL and LDL particle size. Moreover, in the specific case of bezafibrate one could expect neutralizing of the adverse pro-diabetic effect of statins. Though muscle pain and myositis is an issue in statin/fibrate treatment, adverse interaction appears to occur to a significantly greater extent when gemfibrozil is administered. However, bezafibrate and fenofibrate seems to be safer and better tolerated. Combined fibrate/statin therapy is more effective in achieving a comprehensive lipid control and may lead to additional cardiovascular risk reduction, as could be suggested for fenofibrate following ACCORD Lipid study subgroup analysis and for bezafibrate on the basis of one small randomized study and multiple observational data. Therefore, in appropriate patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia fibrates- either as monotherapy or combined with statins – are consistently associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular events. Fibrates currently constitute an indispensable part of the modern anti-dyslipidemic arsenal for patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-125
PMCID: PMC3489608  PMID: 23057687
Atherogenic dyslipidemia; Bezafibrate; Combined fibrate/statin therapy; Fenofibrate; Metabolic syndrome; Residual cardiovascular risk; Type 2 diabetes
22.  Mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in diabetic cardiovascular disease 
Diabetes mellitus currently affects more than 170 million individuals worldwide and is expected to afflict another 200 million individuals in the next 30 years. Complications of diabetes as a result of oxidant stress affect multiple systems throughout the body, but involvement of the cardiovascular system may be one of the most severe in light of the impact upon cardiac and vascular function that can result in rapid morbidity and mortality for individuals. Given these concerns, the signaling pathways of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) offer exciting prospects for the development of novel therapies for the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. In the cardiovascular and metabolic systems, mTOR and its multi-protein complexes of TORC1 and TORC2 regulate insulin release and signaling, endothelial cell survival and growth, cardiomyocyte proliferation, resistance to β-cell injury, and cell longevity. Yet, mTOR can, at times, alter insulin signaling and lead to insulin resistance in the cardiovascular system during diabetes mellitus. It is therefore vital to understand the complex relationship mTOR and its downstream pathways hold during metabolic disease in order to develop novel strategies for the complications of diabetes mellitus in the cardiovascular system.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-45
PMCID: PMC3398846  PMID: 22545721
Akt; AMPK; Cardiac; Diabetes Mellitus; Endothelial; Insulin Receptor Substrate 1; Sirtuin; SIRT1; TORC1; TORC2
23.  Vascular memory: can we broaden the concept of the metabolic memory? 
Based on the results of recent randomized, controlled clinical trials and analyses of their follow-up periods the concept of metabolic memory cannot be restricted to antihyperglycaemic treatment only, rather it can be extended to lipid-lowering and antihypertensive treatment and even life-style modification. This broadened concept can be designated as vascular memory. According to this new concept, not only immediate and short-term but long-term effects of the metabolic and cardiovascular risk milieu are of great importance. Consequently, early and intensive lifestyle interventions, treatment of hyperglycaemia, lipid abnormalities and hypertension can result in beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes even in the long run. On the contrary, failing in target-oriented treatment from early detection of abnormalities can be associated with life-threatening cardiovascular events subsequently. Additional experimental studies are needed to characterize the exact pathomechanism of vascular memory and further clinical trials are also essential to explore its real clinical significance.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-44
PMCID: PMC3395581  PMID: 22545680
Metabolic memory; Metabolic legacy; Vascular memory; Cardiovascular diseases
24.  Postprandial hyperglycemia and endothelial function in type 2 diabetes: focus on mitiglinide 
The risk of cardiovascular complication in a diabetes patient is similar to that in a nondiabetic patient with a history of myocardial infarction. Although intensive control of glycemia achieved by conventional antidiabetic agents decreases microvascular complications such as retinopathy and nephropathy, no marked effect has been reported on macrovascular complications or all-cause mortality. Evidence from VADT, ACCORD, and ADVANCE would suggest that glycemic control has little effect on macrovascular outcomes. Moreover, in the case of ACCORD, intensive glycemic control may be associated with an increased risk of mortality. There is sufficient evidence that suggests that postprandial hyperglycemia may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in diabetes patients. However, there are no prospective clinical trials supporting the recommendation that lowering postprandial blood glucose leads to lower risk of cardiovascular outcomes. Mitiglinide is a short-acting insulinotropic agent used in type 2 diabetes treatment. It has a rapid stimulatory effect on insulin secretion and reduces postprandial plasma glucose level in patients with type 2 diabetes. Because of its short action time, it is unlikely to exert adverse effects related to hypoglycemia early in the morning and between meals. Mitiglinide reduces excess oxidative stress and inflammation, plays a cardioprotective role, and improves postprandial metabolic disorders. Moreover, mitiglinide add-on therapy with pioglitazone favorably affects the vascular endothelial function in type 2 diabetes patients. These data suggest that mitiglinide plays a potentially beneficial role in the improvement of postprandial hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes patients and can be used to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Although the results of long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled trials for determining the cardiovascular effects of mitiglinide on clinical outcomes are awaited, this review is aimed at summarizing substantial insights into this topic.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-79
PMCID: PMC3492036  PMID: 22748110
Atherosclerosis; Endothelial function; Cardiovascular disease prevention
25.  Identification of shared genetic susceptibility locus for coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity: a meta-analysis of genome-wide studies 
Type 2 diabetes (2DM), obesity, and coronary artery disease (CAD) are frequently coexisted being as key components of metabolic syndrome. Whether there is shared genetic background underlying these diseases remained unclear. We performed a meta-analysis of 35 genome screens for 2DM, 36 for obesity or body mass index (BMI)-defined obesity, and 21 for CAD using genome search meta-analysis (GSMA), which combines linkage results to identify regions with only weak evidence and provide genetic interactions among different diseases. For each study, 120 genomic bins of approximately 30 cM were defined and ranked according to the best linkage evidence within each bin. For each disease, bin 6.2 achieved genomic significanct evidence, and bin 9.3, 10.5, 16.3 reached suggestive level for 2DM. Bin 11.2 and 16.3, and bin 10.5 and 9.3, reached suggestive evidence for obesity and CAD respectively. In pooled all three diseases, bin 9.3 and 6.5 reached genomic significant and suggestive evidence respectively, being relatively much weaker for 2DM/CAD or 2DM/obesity or CAD/obesity. Further, genomewide significant evidence was observed of bin 16.3 and 4.5 for 2DM/obesity, which is decreased when CAD was added. These findings indicated that bin 9.3 and 6.5 are most likely to be shared by 2DM, obesity and CAD. And bin 16.3 and 4.5 are potentially common regions to 2DM and obesity only. The observed shared susceptibility regions imply a partly overlapping genetic aspects of disease development. Fine scanning of these regions will definitely identify more susceptibility genes and causal variants.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-68
PMCID: PMC3481354  PMID: 22697793
Meta-analysis; Type 2 diabetes; Obesity; Coronary artery disease; Genome-wide association study

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