The anti-diabetic drug metformin has been demonstrated to exert a protective effect against vascular complications in diabetes independent of its glucose lowering action. Since the endothelial glycocalyx has been indicated to have important vasculoprotective properties and to be vulnerable to degradation by hyperglycemic conditions, we evaluated in the current study the effect of short-term metformin treatment on whole-body glycocalyx barrier properties in a mouse model of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (db/db mouse).
Glycocalyx barrier properties were measured in an acute experiment in three groups of mice: 1) db/db mice without treatment serving as controls, 2) db/db mice which received metformin for two weeks in the drinking water serving as experimental group, and 3) C57Bl/6 mice serving as reference group. Animals were put under anesthesia (ketamine, medetomidine, and atropine) and carotid artery blood pressure was continuously monitored. To probe the glycocalyx a mixture of the tracers FITC-labeled 70 kDa dextrans (Dex70) or fluorescein-labeled red blood cells (RBCs) versus Texas Red-labeled 40 kDa dextrans (Dex40) was infused and blood samples subsequently collected for 30 min to determine the initial vascular distribution volume and clearance of these tracers. Urine was collected and dry-to-wet weight of heart and kidney were determined after the experiment. Group differences were tested using unpaired t-tests.
Metformin treatment did not affect body weight, fasting blood glucose and arterial blood pressure. Compared to C57Bl/6 mice, db/db mice showed a diminished initial exclusion and increased vascular clearance of Dex70 versus Dex40 (P < 0.05), and both were improved by the metformin treatment (P < 0.05). While urine production was higher in the db/db mice compared to C57Bl/6 (P < 0.05), heart and kidney of the metformin treated animals showed comparable dry-to-wet weights compared to the C57Bl/6 mice.
Two weeks of metformin in the drinking water is associated with an improvement in glycocalyx barrier properties in db/db mice, as evidence by an enhanced exclusion and retention of 70 kDa dextrans in the vasculature. In addition, metformin improved hydration of heart and kidney. Previous reported cardiovascular benefits of metformin may well involve an improvement of the endothelial glycocalyx.
Glycocalyx; Metformin; db/db; Diabetes
The presence of diabetes and plasma glucose concentration on admission are associated with adverse outcomes after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), as high glucose can induce vascular endothelial cell apoptosis. This study explored the relative associations among admission plasma glucose level, soluble Fas (sFas) concentration, and long-term survival in patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
This prospective cohort study include 83 patients with acute STEMI. Based on their admission plasma glucose levels (7.8 and 11.1 mmol/L as the limits for low and high levels, respectively), patients were allocated into one of three groups: normal glucose (n = 33), median glucose (n = 24), and high glucose (n = 26). The admission plasma level of sFas was measured with a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Patients were followed up for an average of 89 ± 20 months for all causes of death and cardiovascular death.
sFas levels were significantly higher in the high glucose group compared to the normal glucose group (5.87 ± 1.70 mmol/L vs. 3.07 ± 0.93 mmol/L, respectively, P < 0.05). The sFas level was positively associated with the admission plasma glucose level. The correlation coefficient (R) was 0.747, and R2 was 0.559. Mortality was significantly higher in the high glucose group compared to the normal glucose group (19.2% vs. 3.0%, respectively, P < 0.05).
In patients with acute STEMI, plasma glucose level was high on admission, and sFas apoptosis levels were increased. Long-term follow-up revealed that a high admission plasma glucose level was associated with higher mortality compared to a normal admission glucose level.
Myocardial infarction; Glucose; Apoptosis; Mortality
Diabetes-induced organ damage is significantly associated with the activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Recently, several studies have demonstrated a change in the RAS from an extracellular to an intracellular system, in several cell types, in response to high ambient glucose levels. In cardiac myocytes, intracellular angiotensin (ANG) II synthesis and actions are ACE and AT1 independent, respectively. However, a role of this system in diabetes-induced organ damage is not clear.
To determine a role of the intracellular ANG II in diabetic cardiomyopathy, we induced diabetes using streptozotocin in AT1a receptor deficient (AT1a-KO) mice to exclude any effects of extracellular ANG II. Further, diabetic animals were treated with a renin inhibitor aliskiren, an ACE inhibitor benazeprilat, and an AT1 receptor blocker valsartan.
AT1a-KO mice developed significant diastolic and systolic dysfunction following 10 wks of diabetes, as determined by echocardiography. All three drugs prevented the development of cardiac dysfunction in these animals, without affecting blood pressure or glucose levels. A significant down regulation of components of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) was observed in diabetic animals, which was largely prevented by benazeprilat and valsartan, while aliskiren normalized kininogen expression.
These data indicated that the AT1a receptor, thus extracellular ANG II, are not required for the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. The KKS might contribute to the beneficial effects of benazeprilat and valsartan in diabetic cardiomyopathy. A role of intracellular ANG II is suggested by the inhibitory effects of aliskiren, which needs confirmation in future studies.
Renin-angiotensin system; Intracrine; Renin inhibitor; Diabetic cardiomyopathy kallikrein; Kininogen; Kinin B2 receptor
Elevated plasma preprovasopressin (copeptin) levels are associated with cardiovascular complications as well as with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here, we studied, whether plasma copeptin is related to carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a measure of early atherosclerosis, and may thus be one explanation for the high cardiovascular risk in T2D.
Plasma concentrations of copeptin and IMT of the common carotid artery were determined in 1275 participants of the population-based KORA F4 study. We used linear regression models to investigate associations between copeptin levels and IMT.
In the whole study group, copeptin levels were not significantly associated with IMT after adjustment for age and sex. Copeptin and IMT were significantly inversely associated after multivariable adjustment in the total cohort (β = -0.020 mm, 95% CI: -0.037 mm; -0.003 mm), in men (β = -0.035 mm, 95% CI: -0.061 mm; -0.009 mm) and in study participants with prediabetes (β = -0.041 mm, 95% CI: -0.078 mm; -0.005 mm) comparing quartile 4 vs quartile 1. The negative association of copeptin and IMT in men was present after adjustment for age alone. In women and patients with T2D, copeptin was not significantly associated with IMT.
Plasma copeptin was not associated with an increased IMT in our study cohort. In contrast, copeptin levels were related to a lower IMT in men and subjects with prediabetes, suggesting that elevated copeptin concentrations do not exert proatherogenic effects on carotid arteries.
Intima-media thickness; IMT; Atherosclerosis; Copeptin; AVP; Vasopressin; Diabetes
Long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a component of the pentraxin superfamily and a potential marker of vascular damage and inflammation, associated with negative outcome in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and PTX3 production is reported in abdominal adipose tissue. Low PTX3 is however reported in the obese population, and obesity per se may be associated with less negative ACS outcome.
We investigated the potential impact of obesity and high waist circumference (reflecting abdominal fat accumulation) on plasma PTX3 concentration in ACS patients (n = 72, 20 obese) compared to age-, sex- and BMI-matched non-ACS individuals.
Both obese and non-obese ACS patients had higher PTX3 than matched non-ACS counterparts, but PTX3 was lower in obese than non-obese individuals in both groups (all P < 0.05). PTX3 was also lower in ACS subjects with high than in those with normal waist circumference (WC). Plasma PTX3 was accordingly associated negatively with BMI and WC, independently of age and plasma creatinine. No associations were observed between PTX3 and plasma insulin, glucose or the short pentraxin and validated inflammation marker C-reactive protein, that was higher in ACS than in non-ACS individuals independently of BMI or WC.
Obesity is associated with low circulating PTX3 in ACS. This association is also observed in the presence of abdominal fat accumulation as reflected by elevated waist circumference. Low PTX3 is a novel potential modulator of tissue damage and outcome in obese ACS patients.
Obesity; Pentraxin-3; Acute coronary syndrome
We tested whether fatty liver, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and conventional cardiovascular risk factors were associated with a coronary artery calcium (CAC) score > 0 (as a marker of the presence of early atherosclerosis) in a cohort of healthy Korean adults.
The study population consisted of individuals who underwent a comprehensive health examination in 2010 at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, College of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. The 6009 subjects of total 7371 participants who had an assigned CAC score following coronary computed tomography (CT) scanning and baPWV were analyzed.
Among the study subjects, 39.2% of the population had evidence of fatty liver by ultrasound and 4.6% of the population had evidence of CAC score > 0. Among individuals with a CAC score = 0, 38% of the individuals had fatty liver compared with 58% of the individuals with a CAC score > 0. The individuals with a CAC score > 0 also had higher blood pressure and had more metabolic abnormalities. The prevalence of CAC score > 0 was increased according to baPWV quartiles and was higher in the fatty liver group in comparison with those without fatty liver. The odds ratio for CAC score > 0, after adjusting for clinical risk factors, showed a significant elevation with increasing quartiles of baPWV and the presence of fatty liver.
We showed that both fatty liver and baPWV are independently associated with the presence of CAC, a marker of preclinical atherosclerosis. These associations are independent of conventional risk factors and medical history.
baPWV; Arterial stiffness; Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score; Atherosclerosis; Fatty liver
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.
Type 1 diabetes; Cardiovascular disease
The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin lower blood glucose by augmenting endogenous levels of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an incretin which also confers cardioprotection. As such, we hypothesized that treatment with DPP-4 inhibitors are also cardioprotective.
In ex vivo experiments: Male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomized to receive by oral gavage either Vildagliptin (20 mg/kg/day), Sitagliptin (100 mg/kg/day), or water for 2 weeks. Excised hearts were Langendorff-perfused with buffer containing either 5 mmol/L or 11 mmol/L glucose and subjected to 35 minutes ischaemia/120 minutes reperfusion. In in vivo experiments: Male young Wistar and Sprague–Dawley rats, middle aged Wistar and Goto-Kakizaki diabetic rats were randomized to receive by oral gavage either Sitagliptin (100 mg/kg/day), or water for 2 weeks. Rats were then subjected to 30 minutes ischaemia/120 minutes reperfusion and infarct size ascertained.
Two weeks pre-treatment with either Vildagliptin or Sitagliptin reduced ex vivo myocardial infarction (MI) size in hearts perfused with buffer containing 11 mmol/L glucose but not 5 mmol/L glucose. This effect was abolished by Exendin 9–39 (GLP-1 receptor antagonist) and H-89 (PKA antagonist). Treatment of perfused hearts with native GLP-1 was also glucose-sensitive, reducing MI size, at glucose concentrations 7, 9, and 11 mmol/L but not at 5 mmol/L. Finally, Sitagliptin reduced in vivo MI size in middle aged Wistar (7-8 mmol/L glucose) and Goto-Kakizaki (9-10 mmol/L glucose) rats where blood glucose was elevated, but not in young Wistar (5 mmol/L glucose) or Sprague–Dawley (5 mmol/L glucose) rats, where blood glucose was normal.
We find that chronic treatment with DPP-4 inhibitors reduced MI size, via the GLP-1 receptor-PKA pathway, in a glucose-dependent manner. Glucose-sensitive cardioprotection of endogenous GLP-1 in diabetic patients may in part explain why intensive control of serum glucose levels has been associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
Ischaemia; Reperfusion; Glucagon-like peptide 1; Sitagliptin; Vildagliptin; Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor; Blood glucose
The high glucose-induced proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an important role in the development of diabetic vascular diseases. In a previous study, we confirmed that Interferon regulatory factor-1 (Irf-1) is a positive regulator of the high glucose-induced proliferation of VSMCs. However, the mechanisms remain to be determined.
The levels of cyclin/CDK expression in two cell models involving Irf-1 knockdown and overexpression were quantified to explore the relationship between Irf-1 and its downstream effectors under normal or high glucose conditions. Subsequently, cells were treated with high glucose/NAC, normal glucose/H2O2, high glucose/U0126 or normal glucose/H2O2/U0126 during an incubation period. Then proliferation, cyclin/CDK expression and cell cycle distribution assays were performed to determine whether ROS/Erk1/2 signaling pathway was involved in the Irf-1-induced regulation of VSMC growth under high glucose conditions.
We found that Irf-1 overexpression led to down-regulation of cyclin D1/CDK4 and inhibited cell cycle progression in VSMCs under normal glucose conditions. In high glucose conditions, Irf-1 overexpression led to an up-regulation of cyclin E/CDK2 and an acceleration of cell cycle progression, whereas silencing of Irf-1 suppressed the expression of both proteins and inhibited the cell cycle during the high glucose-induced proliferation of VSMCs. Treatment of VSMCs with antioxidants prevented the Irf-1 overexpression-induced proliferation of VSMCs, the up-regulation of cyclin E/CDK2 and the acceleration of cell cycle progression in high glucose conditions. In contrast, under normal glucose conditions, H2O2 stimulation and Irf-1 overexpression induced cell proliferation, up-regulated cyclin E/CDK2 expression and promoted cell cycle acceleration. In addition, overexpression of Irf-1 promoted the activation of Erk1/2 and when VSMCs overexpressing Irf-1 were treated with U0126, the specific Erk1/2 inhibitor abolished the proliferation of VSMCs, the up-regulation of cyclin E/CDK2 and the acceleration of cell cycle progression under high glucose or normal glucose/H2O2 conditions.
These results demonstrate that the downstream effectors of Irf-1 are cyclin E/CDK2 during the high glucose-induced proliferation of VSMCs, whereas they are cyclin D1/CDK4 in normal glucose conditions. The Irf-1 overexpression-induced proliferation of VSMCs, the up-regulation of cyclin E/CDK2 and the acceleration of cell cycle progression are associated with ROS/Erk1/2 signaling pathway under high glucose conditions.
Vascular smooth muscle cells; Cell proliferation; Interferon regulatory factor 1; Reactive oxygen species; Cell cycle
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its mimetics reduce infarct size in the setting of acute myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. However, the short serum half-life of GLP-1 and its mimetics may limit their therapeutic use in acute myocardial ischemia. Domain antibodies to serum albumin (AlbudAbs) have been developed to extend the serum half-life of short lived therapeutic proteins, peptides and small molecules. In this study, we compared the effect of a long acting GLP-1 agonist, DPP-IV resistant GLP-1 (7–36, A8G) fused to an AlbudAb (GAlbudAb), with the effect of the GLP-1 mimetic, exendin-4 (short half-life GLP-1 agonist) on infarct size following acute myocardial I/R injury.
Male Sprague–Dawley rats (8-week-old) were treated with vehicle, GAlbudAb or exendin-4. Myocardial ischemia was induced 2 h following the final dose for GAlbudAb and 30 min post the final dose for exendin-4. In a subgroup of animals, the final dose of exendin-4 was administered (1 μg/kg, SC, bid for 2 days) 6 h prior to myocardial ischemia when plasma exendin-4 was at its minimum concentration (Cmin). Myocardial infarct size, area at risk and cardiac function were determined 24 h after myocardial I/R injury.
GAlbudAb and exendin-4 significantly reduced myocardial infarct size by 28% and 23% respectively, compared to vehicle (both p < 0.01 vs. vehicle) after I/R injury. Moreover, both GAlbudAb and exendin-4 markedly improved post-ischemic cardiac contractile function. Body weight loss and reduced food intake consistent with the activation of GLP-1 receptors was observed in all treatment groups. However, exendin-4 failed to reduce infarct size when administered 6 h prior to myocardial ischemia, suggesting continuous activation of the GLP-1 receptors is needed for cardioprotection.
Cardioprotection provided by GAlbudAb, a long acting GLP-1 mimetic, following myocardial I/R injury was comparable in magnitude, but more sustained in duration than that produced by short-acting exendin-4. Very low plasma concentrations of exendin-4 failed to protect the heart from myocardial I/R injury, suggesting that sustained GLP-1 receptor activation plays an important role in providing cardioprotection in the setting of acute myocardial I/R injury. Long-acting GLP-1 agonists such as GAlbudAb may warrant additional evaluation as novel therapeutic agents to reduce myocardial I/R injury during acute coronary syndrome.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1); Exendin-4; Anti-albumin-binding domain antibody; Rat; Cardioprotection
The prevalence of diabetes in China is increasing rapidly. However, scarce data are available on serum electrolyte levels in Chinese adults with diabetes, especially in those with cardiovascular complications. This study measured serum electrolyte levels and examined their relationship with macrovascular complications in Chinese adults with diabetes.
The three gender- and age-matched groups were enrolled into this analysis, which were 1,170 subjects with normal glucose regulation (NGR), 389 with impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and 343 with diabetes. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-hour post-load plasma glucose (2hPG), glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and serum electrolyte levels were measured. Data collection included ankle brachial index results.
Serum sodium and magnesium levels in the diabetes group were significantly decreased compared to the NGR group (sodium: 141.0 ± 2.4 vs. 142.1 ± 2.0 mmol/l; magnesium: 0.88 ± 0.08 vs. 0.91 ± 0.07 mmol/l, all P < 0.01), while the serum calcium level was significantly increased (2.36 ± 0.11 vs. 2.33 ± 0.09 mmol/l, P < 0.01). Multiple linear regression showed that serum sodium and magnesium levels in the diabetes group were negatively correlated with FPG, 2hPG and HbA1c (sodium: Std β = −0.35, -0.19, -0.25; magnesium: Std β = −0.29, -0.17, -0.34, all P < 0.01), while the serum calcium level was positively correlated with HbA1c (Std β = 0.17, P < 0.05). In diabetic subjects, serum sodium, magnesium and potassium levels were decreased in the subjects with the elevation of estimated glomerular filtration rates (P < 0.05). ANCOVA analysis suggested that serum magnesium level in subjects with diabetic macrovascular complications was significantly decreased compared with diabetic subjects without macrovascular complications after the effect of some possible confounding being removed (P < 0.05).
Serum sodium and magnesium levels were decreased in Chinese subjects with diabetes, while the observed increase in calcium level correlated with increasing glucose level. Diabetic patients with macrovascular complications had lower serum magnesium level than those with no macrovascular complications.
Electrolytes; Macrovascular complications; Normal glucose regulation; Impaired glucose regulation; Diabetes mellitus
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor, and insulin resistance (IR) have been implicated in atherogenesis. Our aim was to estimate relations between ADMA, the magnitude of IR and angiographic indices of extent and severity of coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic men with stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
We studied 151 non-diabetic men (mean age 57 ± 11 years) with stable angina, obstructive CAD (at least 1 luminal diameter stenosis of ≥70% in major coronary segments) and without heart failure, and 34 age-matched controls free of ≥50% coronary narrowings. The following CAD indices were computed: the number of major epicardial vessels with ≥70% stenosis, Sullivan extent score representing a proportion of the visible coronary tree with vessel wall irregularities, and Gensini score which reflects both CAD severity and extent, yet assigning a heavier weight to proximal segments and to the more severe narrowings by a non-linear point system. An estimate of IR was derived by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) from fasting insulin and glucose.
Among the CAD patients, the proportions of subjects with 1-vessel, 2- vessel and 3-vessel CAD were 26%, 25% and 49%, respectively. ADMA levels were higher in patients with obstructive CAD compared to the controls (0.51 ± 0.10 vs. 0.46 ± 0.09 μmol/L [SD], P = 0.01), whereas HOMA-IR was similar (median, 3.2 [interquartile range: 2.4–4.9] vs. 2.9 [2.3–4.7], P = 0.2). Within the CAD group, ADMA increased across ascending quartiles of Sullivan score (Spearman’s rho = 0.23, P = 0.004), but not with Gensini score (rho = 0.12, P = 0.15) or the number of vessels involved (rho = 0.08, P = 0.3). ADMA correlated to log-transformed Sullivan score (Pearson's r = 0.21, P = 0.008), which was only slightly attenuated upon multivariate adjustment (β = 0.19 ± 0.08 [SEM], P = 0.015). HOMA-IR did not differ according to any measure of angiographic CAD (P ≥ 0.2). ADMA and log (HOMA-IR) were mutually unrelated (r = 0.07, P = 0.4).
ADMA is associated with diffuse but not focal coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic men with stable CAD irrespectively of the degree of IR. The independent relationship between ADMA and coronary atherosclerotic burden may contribute to the well-recognized prognostic effect of ADMA in CAD.
ADMA; Coronary artery disease; Insulin resistance
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) present subclinical left ventricular systolic and/or diastolic dysfunction (LVD). Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inactivates peptides that possess cardioprotective actions. Our aim was to analyze whether the activity of circulating DPP4 is associated with echocardiographically defined LVD in asymptomatic patients with T2DM.
In this cross-sectional study, we examined 83 T2DM patients with no coronary or valve heart disease and 59 age and gender-matched non-diabetic subjects. Plasma DPP4 activity (DPP4a) was measured by enzymatic assay and serum amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. LV function was assessed by two-dimensional echocardiographic imaging, targeted M-mode recordings and Doppler ultrasound measurements. Differences in means were assessed by t-tests and one-way ANOVA. Associations were assessed by adjusted multiple linear regression and logistic regression analyses.
DPP4a was increased in T2DM patients as compared with non-diabetic subjects (5855 ± 1632 vs 5208 ± 957 pmol/min/mL, p < 0.05). Clinical characteristics and echocardiographic parameters assessing LV morphology were similar across DPP4a tertiles in T2DM patients. However, prevalence of LVD progressively increased across incremental DPP4a tertiles (13%, 39% and 71%, all p < 0.001). Multivariate regression analysis confirmed the independent associations of DPP4a with LVD in T2DM patients (p < 0.05). Similarly, multiple logistic regression analysis showed that an increase of 100 pmol/min/min plasma DPP4a was independently associated with an increased frequency of LVD with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.10 (95% CI, 1.04 to 1.15, p = 0.001).
An excessive activity of circulating DPP4 is independently associated with subclinical LVD in T2DM patients. Albeit descriptive, these findings suggest that DPP4 may be involved in the mechanisms of LVD in T2DM.
Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Subclinical left ventricular dysfunction
Endothelial dysfunction precedes pathogenesis of vascular complications in diabetes. In recent years, the mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction were investigated to outline strategies for its treatment. However, the therapies for dysfunctional endothelium resulted in multiple clinical trial failures and remain elusive. There is a need for defining hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction with both generic and specific dysfunctional changes in endothelial cells (EC) using a systems approach. In this study, we investigated hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction in HUVEC and HMVEC. We investigated hyperglycemia-induced functional changes (superoxide (O2‾), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production and mitochondrial membrane polarization) and gene expression fingerprints of related enzymes (nitric oxide synthase, NAD(P)H oxidase, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) neutralizing enzymes) in both ECs.
Gene expression of NOS2, NOS3, NOX4, CYBA, UCP1, CAT, TXNRD1, TXNRD2, GPX1, NOX1, SOD1, SOD2, PRDX1, 18s, and RPLP0 were measured using real-time PCR. O2‾ production was measured with dihydroethidium (DHE) fluorescence measurement. H2O2 production was measured using Amplex Red assay. Mitochondrial membrane polarization was measured using JC-10 based fluorescence measurement.
We showed that the O2‾ levels increased similarly in both ECs with hyperglycemia. However, these endothelial cells showed significantly different underlying gene expression profile, H2O2 production and mitochondrial membrane polarization. In HUVEC, hyperglycemia increased H2O2 production, and hyperpolarized mitochondrial membrane. ROS neutralizing enzymes SOD2 and CAT gene expression were downregulated. In contrast, there was an upregulation of nitric oxide synthase and NAD(P)H oxidase and a depolarization of mitochondrial membrane in HMVEC. In addition, ROS neutralizing enzymes SOD1, GPX1, TXNRD1 and TXNRD2 gene expression were significantly upregulated in high glucose treated HMVEC.
Our findings highlighted a unique framework for hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. We showed that multiple pathways are differentially affected in these endothelial cells in hyperglycemia. High occurrences of gene expression changes in HMVEC in this study supports the hypothesis that microvasculature precedes macrovasculature in epigenetic regulation forming vascular metabolic memory. Identifying genomic phenotype and corresponding functional changes in hyperglycemic endothelial dysfunction will provide a suitable systems biology approach for understanding underlying mechanisms and possible effective therapeutic intervention.
Endothelial dysfunction; Microvascular dysfunction; Systems biology; Oxidative stress; Hyperglycemia; HUVEC; HMVEC; Vascular metabolic memory
Accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the vasculature triggers a series of morphological and functional changes contributing to endothelial hyperpermeability. The reorganisation and redistribution of the cytoskeleton regulated by profilin-1 mediates endothelial cell contraction, which results in vascular hyperpermeability. This study aimed to investigate the pivotal role of profilin-1 in the process of endothelial cell damage induced by AGEs.
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were incubated with AGEs. The mRNA and protein expression of profilin-1 was determined using real-time PCR and western blotting analyses. The levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as the activities of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and protein kinase C (PKC), were detected using the appropriate kits. The levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) were determined using HPLC. The distribution of the cytoskeleton was visualised using immunofluorescent staining.
Compared with the control, incubation of endothelial cells with AGEs (200 μg/ml) for 4 or 24 h significantly up-regulated the mRNA and protein expression of profilin-1, markedly increased the levels of ICAM-1 and ADMA and decreased the production of NO (P<0.05, P<0.01), which was significantly attenuated by pretreatment with DPI (an antioxidant), GF 109203X (PKC inhibitor) or BAY-117082 (NF-κB inhibitor). DPI (10 μmol/L) markedly decreased the elevated levels of ROS induced by AGEs (200 μg/ml, 24 h); however, GF 109203X (10 μmol/L) and BAY-117082 (5 μmol/L) exhibited no significant effect on the formation of ROS by AGEs. Immunofluorescent staining indicated that AGEs markedly increased the expression of profilin-1 in the cytoplasm and the formation of actin stress fibres, resulting in the rearrangement and redistribution of the cytoskeleton. This effect was significantly ameliorated by DPI, GF 109203X, BAY-117082 or siRNA treatment of profilin-1. Incubation with DPI and GF 109203X markedly inhibited the activation of PKC triggered by AGEs, and DPI and BAY-117082 significantly decreased the activity of NF-κB mediated by AGEs. Disruption of profilin-1 gene expression attenuated the extent of endothelial abnormalities by reducing ICAM-1 and ADMA levels and elevating NO levels (P<0.05, P<0.01), but this disruption had no effect on the activities of NF-κB and PKC (P>0.05).
These findings suggested that profilin-1 might act as an ultimate and common cellular effector in the process of metabolic memory (endothelial abnormalities) mediated by AGEs via the ROS/PKC or ROS/NF-қB signalling pathways.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs); Profilin-1; Endothelial cells; Cytoskeletal rearrangement; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB); Protein kinase C (PKC)
It is a matter of debate whether metabolic syndrome (MS) improves cardiovascular risk prediction beyond the risk associated with its individual components. The present study examined the association of MS score with high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), resistin, adiponectin, and angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD) severity according to the presence of DM. In addition, the predictive value of various clinical and biochemical parameters were analyzed, including the MS score for angiographic CAD.
The study enrolled 363 consecutive patients (196 men, 62 ± 11 years of age) who underwent coronary angiography for evaluation of chest pain. Blood samples were taken prior to elective coronary angiography. MS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria, with MS score defined as the numbers of MS components. CAD was defined as > 50% luminal diameter stenosis of at least one major epicardial coronary artery. CAD severity was assessed using the Gensini score.
Of the 363 patients studied, 174 (48%) had CAD and 178 (49%) were diagnosed with MS. When the patients were divided into 4 subgroups according to MS score (0–1, 2, 3, 4–5), IL-6 levels and the CAD severity as assessed by the Gensini score increased as MS scores increased. In contrast, adiponectin levels decreased significantly as MS scores increased. When subjects were divided into two groups according to the presence of DM, the relationships between MS score and IL-6, adiponectin, and Gensini score were maintained only in patients without DM. Age, smoking, DM, MS score, and adiponectin independently predicted angiographic CAD in the whole population. However, age is the only predictor for angiographic CAD in patients with DM.
In the presence of DM, neither adipokines nor MS score predicted angiographic CAD. However, in non-diabetic patients, IL-6 and adiponectin showed progressive changes according to MS score, and MS score was an independent predictor of CAD in patients without DM.
Metabolic syndrome; Adipokines; Coronary artery disease; Diabetes mellitus
Dyslipidemia, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease is a common finding in patients with type 2 diabetes and among women with gestational diabetes. Elevated levels of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] are linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, its relationship with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes is controversial and unproven. Here we aimed to clarify whether Lp(a) levels are associated with insulin sensitivity in pregnancy.
Sixty-four women with gestational diabetes and 165 with normal glucose tolerance were enrolled in the study. Fasting Lp(a) serum levels were measured in all women at 24–28 weeks of gestation.
In pregnancy, there was no significant difference in serum Lp(a) concentrations between the two groups. Its level did not correlate with markers of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), insulin sensitivity (HOMA-S%), pancreatic beta-cell function (HOMA-B%) and insulin sensitivity in dynamic conditions (OGIS). In addition, fasting glucose and insulin levels and those throughout an oral glucose tolerance test were independent of Lp(a) concentrations in our study group.
Lp(a) levels in pregnant women do not differ with respect to the presence or absence of gestational diabetes. Although influenced by some components of the lipid profile, such as triglycerides and HDL-C, insulin resistance in pregnancy is not affected by Lp(a).
Lipoprotein(a); Pregnancy; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Insulin resistance
Development of a cardiomyopathy in diabetes mellitus is independent of traditional risk factors, with no clinical trials targeting specific therapeutic interventions. Myocardial fibrosis is one of the key mechanisms and aldosterone is a key mediator of myocardial fibrosis. We propose that aldosterone antagonism will improve cardiac function. We aim to evaluate the efficacy of selective aldosterone receptor antagonism with eplerenone added to optimal medical treatment in improving cardiac structure and function in diabetic cardiomyopathy. We will randomize 130 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, stable metabolic control and impaired left ventricular (LV) systolic or diastolic function, to either eplerenone (target dose 50mg) or matching placebo, in addition to optimal medical therapy for 12 months. The primary endpoints are changes in LV systolic and diastolic function, measured by echocardiographic 2-dimensional speckle tracking strain and strain rate and tissue Doppler imaging. The secondary endpoints include changes in echocardiographic markers and plasma biomarkers of collagen turnover; left atrial dimensions and function, incidence of atrial fibrillation and changes in exercise capacity and dyspnea score. The present study will assess whether specific aldosterone antagonism with eplerenone in addition to standard therapy will prevent progression or reverse cardiac dysfunction in diabetic cardiomyopathy using sensitive, robust and quantifiable echocardiographic measures that allow early detection of change. The study may offer a new direction in the management of this condition.
Diabetes; Heart failure; Left ventricular function; Echocardiography; Collagen; Aldosterone antagonism
A relationship between plasma adiponectin level and a number of metabolic conditions, including insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, has been reported. This study aimed to assess whether urinary adiponectin concentration is correlated with vascular complications.
The study comprised 708 subjects who enrolled in the Seoul Metro City Diabetes Prevention Program and were carefully monitored from September 2008 to December 2008. Levels of urinary adiponectin were measured using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit (AdipoGen, Korea). Urinary albumin excretion was assessed by the ratio of urinary albumin to creatinine (A/C ratio). Participants were divided into three groups based on tertiles of urinary adiponectin concentration, and we investigated whether urinary adiponectin levels are associated with microalbuminuria and pulse wave velocity.
Urinary adiponectin concentrations were significantly higher in subjects with microalbuminuria than subjects with normoalbuminuria (P < 0.001). Urinary adiponectin concentration was positively correlated with age, fasting plasma glucose level, HbA1C level, triglyceride level, HOMA-IR, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, and urinary A/C ratio (all P < 0.05). Subjects in the highest tertile of urinary adiponectin concentration had an increased likelihood of microalbuminuria than those in the lowest tertile (Odds ratio (OR), 6.437; 95% confidence interval (CI), 4.202 to 9.862; P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex, and estimated creatinine clearance rate (eCcr), the OR remained significant (OR, 5.607; 95% CI, 3.562 to 8.828; P < 0.001). Backward multiple linear regression analysis revealed urinary adiponectin concentration to be a significant determinant of mean brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV).
An increased urinary adiponectin concentration is significantly associated with microalbuminuria and increased mean baPWV. These results suggest that urinary adiponectin may play an important role as a biomarker for vascular dysfunction.
Adiponectin; Microalbuminuria; Pulse wave velocity
To study the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy, reliable animal models of type 2 diabetes are required. Physiologically relevant rodent models are needed, which not only replicate the human pathology but also mimic the disease process. Here we characterised cardiac metabolic abnormalities, and investigated the optimal experimental approach for inducing disease, in a new model of type 2 diabetes.
Methods and results
Male Wistar rats were fed a high-fat diet for three weeks, with a single intraperitoneal injection of low dose streptozotocin (STZ) after fourteen days at 15, 20, 25 or 30 mg/kg body weight. Compared with chow-fed or high-fat diet fed control rats, a high-fat diet in combination with doses of 15–25 mg/kg STZ did not change insulin concentrations and rats maintained body weight. In contrast, 30 mg/kg STZ induced hypoinsulinaemia, hyperketonaemia and weight loss. There was a dose-dependent increase in blood glucose and plasma lipids with increasing concentrations of STZ. Cardiac and hepatic triglycerides were increased by all doses of STZ, in contrast, cardiac glycogen concentrations increased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing STZ concentrations. Cardiac glucose transporter 4 protein levels were decreased, whereas fatty acid metabolism-regulated proteins, including uncoupling protein 3 and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) kinase 4, were increased with increasing doses of STZ. Cardiac PDH activity displayed a dose-dependent relationship between enzyme activity and STZ concentration. Cardiac insulin-stimulated glycolytic rates were decreased by 17% in 15 mg/kg STZ high-fat fed diabetic rats compared with control rats, with no effect on cardiac contractile function.
High-fat feeding in combination with a low dose of STZ induced cardiac metabolic changes that mirror the decrease in glucose metabolism and increase in fat metabolism in diabetic patients. While low doses of 15–25 mg/kg STZ induced a type 2 diabetic phenotype, higher doses more closely recapitulated type 1 diabetes, demonstrating that the severity of diabetes can be modified according to the requirements of the study.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hypoglycaemia; Cardiovascular risk; Arrhythmia; Continuous glucose monitoring; Randomized controlled trials
Large body of evidences accumulated in clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that hearts of diabetic subjects are more sensitive to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), which results in a higher rate of mortality at post-operation than that of non-diabetes. However, experimental results are equivocal and point to either increased or decreased susceptibility of the diabetic hearts to IRI, especially at the early stage of the disease. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that the duration/severity of the indexed ischemia is a major determinant of the vulnerability to myocardial IRI at early stage of diabetes.
Four weeks streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic (D) and non-diabetic (C) Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive 30 or 45 min of left anterior descending artery ligation followed by 2 or 3 hours of reperfusion, respectively. Cardiac function was recorded by using Pressure-Volume (PV) conduction system. Myocardial infarct size was determined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Plasma Creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, myocardial nitric oxide(NO) content and nitrotyrosine formation, 15-F2t-Isoprostane and plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured with colorimetric assays. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL staining. Myocardial TNFα, Caspase-3, STAT3, Akt, and GSK-3β were determined by Western blotting.
Prolongation of ischemia but not reperfusion from 30 min to 45 min significantly increased infarct size in D compared to C rats (P < 0.05), accompanied with significantly increased plasma CK-MB (P < 0.05). Prolongation of the duration of either ischemia or reperfusion significantly increased plasma LDH release and myocardial 15-F2t-Isoprostane and reduced plasma SOD activity, with concomitant reduction of myocardial NO and increase of nitrotyrosine formation in D relative to C (P < 0.05). Prolongation of ischemia and reperfusion significantly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and increased the peak rate of pressure, accompanied with increased end systolic pressure in D relative to C rats (P < 0.05) but reduced phosphorylations of myocardial STAT3 at site Ser727 and Akt at site Ser473 as well as GSK-3β at Ser 9 (P < 0.05).
Diabetic hearts, even at early stage of the disease are more sensitive to IRI, and this increased severity of post-ischemic myocardial injury depends more on the duration of ischemia than that of reperfusion.
Ischemia reperfusion injury; Diabetes mellitus; Infarct size
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) detoxifies reactive aldehydes in the micro- and macrovasculature. These substrates, including methylglyoxal and 4-hydroxynonenal formed from glucose and lipids, cause protein carbonylation and mitochondrial dysfunction, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The present study aimed to confirm the association between the inactive ALDH2*2 allele and diabetic retinopathy (DR).
A retrospective longitudinal analysis was conducted, among 234 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) (156 males and 78 females) who had no DR signs at baseline and were treated for more than half a year. The ALDH2*1/*2 alleles were determined using a real-time TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidential intervals (CIs) for the cumulative incidence of the development of DR were examined using a Cox proportional hazard model, taking drinking habits and the serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level into consideration.
The frequency of the ALDH2*2 allele was 22.3%. Fifty-two subjects cumulatively developed DR during the follow-up period of 5.5 ± 2.5 years. The ALDH2*2 allele carriers had a significantly higher incidence of DR than the non-carriers (HR: 1.92; P = 0.02). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the drinkers with the ALDH2*2 allele than in those with the ALDH2*1/*1 genotype (HR: 2.61; P = 0.03), while the incidence of DR in the non-drinkers did not differ significantly between the ALDH2 genotype groups (P > 0.05). The incidence of DR was significantly higher in the ALDH2*2 allele carriers with a high GGT level than in the non-carriers with a high or low GGT level (HR: 2.45; P = 0.03; and HR: 2.63; P = 0.03, respectively).
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a significant association between the ALDH2*2 allele and the incidence of DR. These findings provide additional evidence that ALDH2 protects both microvasculature and macrovasculature against reactive aldehydes generated under conditions of sustained oxidative stress, although further investigations in larger cohorts are needed to verify the results.
Advanced glycation end products; Alcohol drinking; Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; Diabetic retinopathy; Diabetic angiopathy; γ-glutamyltransferase; Oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
The Cardiovascular Risk Evaluation in people with type 2 Diabetes on Insulin Therapy (CREDIT) study is an international, multicenter, observational study designed to assess metabolic parameters and cardiovascular risk of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) on insulin therapy. The present report summarizes results at baseline and 1-year follow-up for the cohort of Japanese patients.
Male and female patients (n = 511), aged >40 years, with T2DM for >1 year, treated with insulin therapy for ≥1 month and <6 months were eligible for participation in the study. Glycemic and lipid parameters, duration of diabetes, diabetic complications, oral antidiabetic medications, and all hypoglycemic episodes were recorded. Effectiveness was assessed based on changes in clinical parameters and attainment of target HbA1c levels. Safety was evaluated based on episodes of hypoglycemia and weight gain.
At baseline, the mean ± SD duration of diabetes was 11.8 ± 8.8 years. Microvascular and macrovascular diabetic complications were present in 83.4% and 25.1% of patients, respectively. At the 1-year follow-up, significant improvements were observed in mean HbA1c (10.3 ± 2.0% vs. 7.5 ± 1.3%, P < .001), fasting plasma glucose (217.3 ± 80.8 mg/dL vs. 139.0 ± 48.7 mg/dL, P < .001), and postprandial plasma glucose levels (296.1 ± 96.0 mg/dL vs. 178.2 ± 68.6 mg/dL, P < .001) compared with baseline. Mean total cholesterol (P < .001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < .001), triglycerides (P < .01), and diastolic blood pressure (P < .01) also significantly decreased. Good glycemic control (HbA1c < 7.0%) was achieved in 40% of patients at the 1-year follow-up. Glycemic control tended to be better in patients with lower baseline HbA1c levels (P < .01). Patients with a shorter duration of diabetes were more likely to achieve glycemic control and discontinue insulin for diabetes control at the 1-year follow-up (P < .05 for trend). Symptomatic hypoglycemic episodes occurred in 21.8% of patients over 6 to 12 months.
Our results suggest that insulin treatment is an effective and safe therapeutic option in Japanese patients with T2DM, and earlier insulin initiation might be associated with better glycemic control.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Insulin therapy; Real-life clinical data
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.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Cardiovascular safety; Incretin; GLP-1; GLP-1 receptor agonists; DPP-4 inhibitors