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1.  Aminoguanidine inhibits aortic hydrogen peroxide production, VSMC NOX activity and hypercontractility in diabetic mice 
Background
Dysfunctionally uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is involved in producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the diabetic endothelium. The present study investigated whether anti-diabetes drug Aminoguanidine (AG) has any effect on eNOS function and vascular oxidant stress.
Methods and Results
Blood glucose levels were increased to 452.0 ± 15.1 mg/dl in STZ-treated male C57BL/6J mice (148.4 ± 3.2 mg/dl in untreated controls). Aortic productions of NO• and O2•- were measured specifically and sensitively using electron spin resonance. Diabetic mice had a marked increase in aortic O2•- production. Aortic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production was also increased in diabetic aortas and significantly attenuated by AG. AG however had only a marginal effect in reducing aortic O2•- production, which corresponded to a minimal effect in improving aortic nitric oxide (NO•) bioavailability. The endothelium-dependent vasodilatation however was modestly but significantly improved by AG, likely consequent to AG-induced reduction in hyper-contractility. NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX)-dependent O2•- production was completely attenuated by AG in endothelium-denuded diabetic aortas.
Conclusion
In summary, despite that AG is not an effective eNOS recoupling agent presumably consequent to its ineffectiveness in preventing endothelial NOX activation, it is inhibitory of aortic H2O2 production, VSMC NOX activity, and hypercontractility in diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-65
PMCID: PMC2811700  PMID: 20040119
2.  Lipogenesis in arterial wall and vascular smooth muscular cells: regulation and abnormalities in insulin-resistance 
Background
Vascular smooth muscular cells (VSMC) express lipogenic genes. Therefore in situ lipogenesis could provide fatty acids for triglycerides synthesis and cholesterol esterification and contribute to lipid accumulation in arterial wall with aging and during atheroma.
Methods
We investigated expression of lipogenic genes in human and rat arterial walls, its regulation in cultured VSMC and determined if it is modified during insulin-resistance and diabetes, situations with increased risk for atheroma.
Results
Zucker obese (ZO) and diabetic (ZDF) rats accumulated more triglycerides in their aortas than their respective control rats, and this triglycerides content increased with age in ZDF and control rats. However the expression in aortas of lipogenic genes, or of genes involved in fatty acids uptake, was not higher in ZDF and ZO rats and did not increase with age. Expression of lipogenesis-related genes was not increased in human arterial wall (carotid endarterectomy) of diabetic compared to non-diabetic patients. In vitro, glucose and adipogenic medium (ADM) stimulated moderately the expression and activity of lipogenesis in VSMC from control rats. LXR agonists, but not PXR agonist, stimulated also lipogenesis in VSMC but not in arterial wall in vivo. Lipogenic genes expression was lower in VSMC from ZO rats and not stimulated by glucose or ADM.
Conclusion
Lipogenic genes are expressed in arterial wall and VSMC; this expression is stimulated (VSMC) by glucose, ADM and LXR agonists. During insulin-resistance and diabetes, this expression is not increased and resists to the actions of glucose and ADM. It is unlikely that this metabolic pathway contribute to lipid accumulation of arterial wall during insulin-resistance and diabetes and thus to the increased risk of atheroma observed in these situations.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-64
PMCID: PMC2805610  PMID: 20030821
3.  Mutations in the coding regions of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha in Iranian families with maturity onset diabetes of the young 
Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) is a nuclear receptor involved in glucose homeostasis and is required for normal β cell function. Mutations in the HNF4α gene are associated with maturity onset diabetes of the young type 1 (MODY1). The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and nature of mutations in HNF4α gene in Iranian patients with a clinical diagnosis of MODY and their family members. Twelve families including 30 patients with clinically MODY diagnosis and 21 members of their family were examined using PCR-RFLP method and in case of mutation confirmed by sequencing techniques. Fifty age and sex matched subjects with normal fasting blood sugar (FBS) and Glucose tolerance test (GTT) were constituted the control group and investigated in the similar pattern. Single mutation of V255M in the HNF4α gene was detected. This known mutation was found in 8 of 30 patients and 3 of 21 individuals in relatives. Fifty healthy control subjects did not show any mutation. Here, it is indicated that the prevalence of HNF4α mutation among Iranian patients with clinical MODY is considerable. This mutation was present in 26.6% of our patients, but nothing was found in control group. In the family members, 3 subjects with the age of ≤25 years old carried this mutation. Therefore, holding this mutation in this range of age could be a predisposing factor for developing diabetes in future.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-63
PMCID: PMC2797770  PMID: 20003313
4.  Aerobic exercise in obese diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease: a randomized and controlled pilot study 
Background
Patients with obesity, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are generally physically inactive, have a high mortality rate, and may benefit from an exercise program.
Methods
We performed a 24-week randomized controlled feasibility study comparing aerobic exercise plus optimal medical management to medical management alone in patients with type 2 diabetes, obesity (body mass index [BMI] > 30 kg/m2), and stage 2-4 CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] 15-90 mL/min/1.73 m2 with persistent proteinuria). Subjects randomized to exercise underwent thrice weekly aerobic training for 6 followed by 18 weeks of supervised home exercise. The primary outcome variable was change in proteinuria.
Results
Seven subjects randomized to exercise and 4 control subjects completed the study. Exercise training resulted in an increase in exercise duration during treadmill testing, which was accompanied by slight but insignificant decreases in resting systolic blood pressure and 24-hour proteinuria. Exercise did not alter GFR, hemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, serum lipids, or C-reactive protein (CRP). Caloric intake and body weight and composition also did not change with exercise training.
Conclusion
Exercise training in obese diabetic patients with CKD is feasible and may have clinical benefits. A large-scale randomized controlled trial to determine the effects of exercise on renal functions, cardiovascular fitness, inflammation, and oxidative stress in diabetic patients with CKD is planned.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-62
PMCID: PMC2796994  PMID: 20003224
5.  YKL-40 - an emerging biomarker in cardiovascular disease and diabetes 
Several inflammatory cytokines are involved in vascular inflammation resulting in endothelial dysfunction which is the earliest event in the atherosclerotic process leading to manifest cardiovascular disease. YKL-40 is an inflammatory glycoprotein involved in endothelial dysfunction by promoting chemotaxis, cell attachment and migration, reorganization and tissue remodelling as a response to endothelial damage. YKL-40 protein expression is seen in macrophages and smooth muscle cells in atherosclerotic plaques with the highest expression seen in macrophages in the early lesion of atherosclerosis. Several studies demonstrate, that elevated serum YKL-levels are independently associated with the presence and extent of coronary artery disease and even higher YKL-40 levels are documented in patients with myocardial infarction. Moreover, elevated serum YKL-40 levels have also been found to be associated with all-cause as well as cardiovascular mortality. Finally, YKL-40 levels are elevated both in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, known to be at high risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases, when compared to non-diabetic persons. A positive association between elevated circulating YKL-40 levels and increasing levels of albuminuria have been described in patients with type 1 diabetes indicating a role of YKL-40 in the progressing vascular damage resulting in microvascular disease.
This review describes the present knowledge about YKL-40 and discusses its relation to endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and look ahead on future perspectives of YKL-40 research.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-61
PMCID: PMC2789050  PMID: 19930630
6.  Diabetes and hypertension markedly increased the risk of ischemic stroke associated with high serum resistin concentration in a general Japanese population: the Hisayama Study 
Background
Resistin, secreted from adipocytes, causes insulin resistance in mice. The relationship between resistin and coronary artery disease is highly controversial, and the information regarding resistin and ischemic stroke is limited. In the present study, the association between serum resistin concentration and cardiovascular disease (CVD) was investigated in a general Japanese population.
Methods
A total of 3,201 community-dwelling individuals aged 40 years or older (1,382 men and 1,819 women) were divided into quintiles of serum resistin, and the association between resistin and CVD was examined cross-sectionally. The combined effect of either diabetes or hypertension and high serum resistin was also assessed. Serum resistin was measured using ELISA.
Results
Compared to those without CVD, age- and sex-adjusted mean serum resistin concentrations were greater in subjects with CVD (p = 0.002) or ischemic stroke (p < 0.001), especially in those with lacunar and atherothrombotic infarction, but not elevated in subjects with hemorrhagic stroke or coronary heart disease. When analyzed by quintile of serum resistin concentration, the age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for having CVD and ischemic stroke increased with quintile of serum resistin (p for trends, 0.02 for CVD, < 0.001 for ischemic stroke), while such associations were not observed for hemorrhagic stroke or coronary heart disease. Compared to the first quintile, the age- and sex-adjusted OR of ischemic stroke was greater in the third (OR = 3.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-10.67; p = 0.02), fourth (OR = 4.48; 95% CI, 1.53-13.09; p = 0.006), and fifth quintiles (OR = 4.70; 95% CI, 1.62-13.61; p = 0.004). These associations remained substantially unchanged even after adjustment for other confounding factors including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. In the stratified analysis, the combination of high serum resistin and either diabetes or hypertension markedly increased the risk of ischemic stroke.
Conclusion
Elevated serum resistin concentration appears to be an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke, especially lacunar and atherothrombotic infarction in the general Japanese population. The combination of high resistin and the presence of either diabetes or hypertension increased the risk of ischemic stroke.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-60
PMCID: PMC2790441  PMID: 19922611
7.  Elevated plasma levels of TNF-alpha and Interleukin-6 in patients with diastolic dysfunction and glucose metabolism disorders 
Background
Diabetes mellitus (DM) has reached epidemic proportions and is an important risk factor for heart failure (HF). Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) is recognized as the earliest manifestation of DM-induced LV dysfunction, but its pathophysiology remains incompletely understood. We sought to evaluate the relationship between proinflammatory cytokine levels (TNF-alpha, IL-6) and tissue Doppler derived indices of LVDD in patients with stable coronary artery disease.
Methods
We enrolled 41 consecutive patients (mean age 65+/-10 years) submitted for coronary angiography. Echocardiographic assessment was performed in all patients. Pulsed tissue Doppler imaging was performed at the mitral annulus and was characterized by the diastolic early relaxation velocity Em. Conventional transmitral flow was measured with pw-doppler. Early (E) transmitral flow velocity was measured. LVDD was defined as E/Em ratio ≥ 15, E/Em 8-14 was classified as borderline. Plasma levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 were determined in all patients. A standardized oral glucose tolerance test was performed in subjects without diabetes.
Results
Patients with E/Em ratio ≥ 15, classified as LVDD and those with E/Em ratio 8-14 (classified as borderline) had significantly higher IL-6 (P = 0,001), TNF-alpha (P < 0,001) and NT-pro- BNP (P = 0,001) plasma levels compared to those with normal diastolic function. TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels remains significantly elevated after adjustment for sex, age, left ventricular ejection function, body mass index, coronary heart disease, smoking, hypertension and diabetes mellitus with linear regression analysis. Furthermore, in subjects LVDD or borderline LV diastolic function, 75% had diabetes or IGT, respectively. When subjects without diabetes were excluded, both IL-6 (P = 0,006) and TNF-alpha (P = 0,002) remained significantly elevated in subjects with E/Em ratio ≥ 15.
Conclusion
This study reveals that increased plasma levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were associated with LVDD. These findings suggest a link between low-grade inflammation and the presence of LVDD. An active proinflammatory process may be of importance in the pathogenesis of diastolic dysfunction.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-58
PMCID: PMC2778641  PMID: 19909503
8.  Cardiovascular risk factors in Assyrians/Syrians and native Swedes with type 2 diabetes: a population-based epidemiological study 
Background
A large number of people throughout the world have diabetes and the prevalence is increasing. Persons with diabetes have a twice higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes. There is a lack of studies focusing on cardiovascular risk factors in Assyrians/Syrians with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of some cardiovascular risk factors among Assyrians/Syrians and native Swedes with type 2 diabetes and to study whether the association between ethnicity and cardio-vascular risk factors remains after adjustment for age, gender, employment status and housing tenure.
Methods
In the Swedish town of Södertälje 173 Assyrians/Syrians and 181 ethnic Swedes with type 2 diabetes participated in a study evaluating cardiovascular risk factors such as increased haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), high blood lipids (total serum cholesterol and triglycerides), hypertension and high urinary albumin. The associations between the outcome variables and sociodemographic characteristics were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.
Results
The prevalence of increased triglycerides in Swedish-born subjects and Assyrian-Syrians was 61.5% and 39.7% respectively. Swedes had a prevalence of hypertension 76.8% compared to 57.8% in Assyrians/Syrians. In the final logistic models adjusted for gender, age, housing and employment the odds ratio (OR) for Swedish-born subjects for increased triglycerides was 2.80 (95% CI1.61-4.87) and for hypertension 2.32 (95% CI 1.35-4.00) compared to Assyrians-Syrians.
Conclusion
Ethnic Swedes had higher prevalence of increased triglycerides and hypertension than Assyrians/Syrians. Total cholesterol, HbA1c and urinary albumin did not differ between the two ethnic groups.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-59
PMCID: PMC2779180  PMID: 19909512
9.  Nitric oxide and superoxide dismutase modulate endothelial progenitor cell function in type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Background
The function of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which are key cells in vascular repair, is impaired in diabetes mellitus. Nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species can regulate EPC functions. EPCs tolerate oxidative stress by upregulating superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme that neutralizes superoxide anion (O2-). Therefore, we investigated the roles of NO and SOD in glucose-stressed EPCs.
Methods
The functions of circulating EPCs from patients with type 2 diabetes were compared to those from healthy individuals. Healthy EPCs were glucose-stressed, and then treated with insulin and/or SOD. We assessed O2- generation, NO production, SOD activity, and their ability to form colonies.
Results
EPCs from diabetic patients generated more O2-, had higher NAD(P)H oxidase and SOD activity, but lower NO bioavailability, and expressed higher mRNA and protein levels of p22-phox, and manganese SOD and copper/zinc SOD than those from the healthy individuals. Plasma glucose and HbA1c levels in the diabetic patients were correlated negatively with the NO production from their EPCs. SOD treatment of glucose-stressed EPCs attenuated O2- generation, restored NO production, and partially restored their ability to form colonies. Insulin treatment of glucose-stressed EPCs increased NO production, but did not change O2- generation and their ability to form colonies. However, their ability to produce NO and to form colonies was fully restored after combined SOD and insulin treatment.
Conclusion
Our data provide evidence that SOD may play an essential role in EPCs, and emphasize the important role of antioxidant therapy in type 2 diabetic patients.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-56
PMCID: PMC2773759  PMID: 19878539
10.  Lack of benefits for prevention of cardiovascular disease with aspirin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients - a longitudinal observational study 
Background
The risk-benefit ratio of aspirin therapy in prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains contentious, especially in type 2 diabetes. This study examined the benefit and harm of low-dose aspirin (daily dose < 300 mg) in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
This is a longitudinal observational study with primary and secondary prevention cohorts based on history of CVD at enrolment. We compared the occurrence of primary composite (non-fatal myocardial infarction or stroke and vascular death) and secondary endpoints (upper GI bleeding and haemorrhagic stroke) between aspirin users and non-users between January 1995 and July 2005.
Results
Of the 6,454 patients (mean follow-up: median [IQR]: 4.7 [4.4] years), usage of aspirin was 18% (n = 1,034) in the primary prevention cohort (n = 5731) and 81% (n = 585) in the secondary prevention cohort (n = 723). After adjustment for covariates, in the primary prevention cohort, aspirin use was associated with a hazard-ratio of 2.07 (95% CI: 1.66, 2.59, p < 0.001) for primary endpoint. There was no difference in CVD event rate in the secondary prevention cohort. Overall, aspirin use was associated with a hazard-ratio of 2.2 (1.53, 3.15, p < 0.001) of GI bleeding and 1.71 (1.00, 2.95, p = 0.051) of haemorrhagic stroke. The absolute risk of aspirin-related GI bleeding was 10.7 events per 1,000 person-years of treatment.
Conclusion
In Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, low dose aspirin was associated with a paradoxical increase in CVD risk in primary prevention and did not confer benefits in secondary prevention. In addition, the risk of GI bleeding in aspirin users was rather high.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-57
PMCID: PMC2777137  PMID: 19878541
11.  Elevated resting heart rate is associated with the metabolic syndrome 
Background
Increased resting heart rate (RHR) may be associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity. Our aim was to explore the possibility that increased RHR is associated with the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a sample of apparently healthy individuals and those with cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional analysis in a large sample of apparently healthy individuals who attended a general health screening program and agreed to participate in our survey. We analyzed a sample of 7706 individuals (5106 men and 2600 women) with 13.2% of men and 8.9% of the women fulfilling the criteria for the MetS. The participants were divided into quintiles of resting heart rate. Multiple adjusted odds ratio was calculated for having the MetS in each quintile compared to the first.
Results
The multi-adjusted odds for the presence of the MetS increased gradually from an arbitrarily defined figure of 1.0 in the lowest RHR quintile (<60 beats per minute (BPM) in men and <64 BPM in women) to 4.1 and 4.2 in men and women respectively in the highest one (≥80 BPM in men and ≥82 BPM in women).
Conclusion
Raised resting heart rate is significantly associated with the presence of MetS in a group of apparently healthy individuals and those with an atherothrombotic risk. The strength of this association supports the potential presence of one or more shared pathophysiological mechanisms for both RHR and the MetS.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-55
PMCID: PMC2768698  PMID: 19828043
12.  Network of vascular diseases, death and biochemical characteristics in a set of 4,197 patients with type 1 diabetes (The FinnDiane Study) 
Background
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of premature death in patients with type 1 diabetes. Patients with diabetic kidney disease have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Accurate knowledge of the complex inter-dependencies between the risk factors is critical for pinpointing the best targets for research and treatment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the association patterns between clinical and biochemical features of diabetic complications.
Methods
Medical records and serum and urine samples of 4,197 patients with type 1 diabetes were collected from health care centers in Finland. At baseline, the mean diabetes duration was 22 years, 52% were male, 23% had kidney disease (urine albumin excretion over 300 mg/24 h or end-stage renal disease) and 8% had a history of macrovascular events. All-cause mortality was evaluated after an average of 6.5 years of follow-up (25,714 patient years). The dataset comprised 28 clinical and 25 biochemical variables that were regarded as the nodes of a network to assess their mutual relationships.
Results
The networks contained cliques that were densely inter-connected (r > 0.6), including cliques for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) markers, for triglycerides and cholesterol, for urinary excretion and for indices of body mass. The links between the cliques showed biologically relevant interactions: an inverse relationship between HDL cholesterol and the triglyceride clique (r < -0.3, P < 10-16), a connection between triglycerides and body mass via C-reactive protein (r > 0.3, P < 10-16) and intermediate-density cholesterol as the connector between lipoprotein metabolism and albuminuria (r > 0.3, P < 10-16). Aging and macrovascular disease were linked to death via working ability and retinopathy. Diabetic kidney disease, serum creatinine and potassium, retinopathy and blood pressure were inter-connected. Blood pressure correlations indicated accelerated vascular aging in individuals with kidney disease (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
The complex pattern of links between diverse characteristics and the lack of a single dominant factor suggests a need for multifactorial and multidisciplinary paradigms for the research, treatment and prevention of diabetic complications.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-54
PMCID: PMC2763862  PMID: 19804653
13.  Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in Latin America and its association with sub-clinical carotid atherosclerosis: the CARMELA cross sectional study 
Background
Metabolic syndrome increases cardiovascular risk. Limited information on its prevalence in Latin America is available. The Cardiovascular Risk Factor Multiple Evaluation in Latin America (CARMELA) study included assessment of metabolic syndrome in 7 urban Latin American populations.
Methods
CARMELA was a cross-sectional, population-based, observational study conducted in Barquisimeto, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Santiago, Chile. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), and associated carotid atherosclerosis were investigated in 11,502 participants aged 25 to 64 years.
Results
Across CARMELA cities, metabolic syndrome was most prevalent in Mexico City (27%) and Barquisimeto (26%), followed by Santiago (21%), Bogota (20%), Lima (18%), Buenos Aires (17%), and Quito (14%). In nondiabetic participants, prevalence was slightly lower but followed a comparable ranking. Overall, 59%, 59%, and 73% of women with high triglycerides, hypertension, or glucose abnormalities, respectively, and 64%, 48% and 71% of men with abdominal obesity, hypertension, or glucose abnormalities, respectively, had the full metabolic syndrome. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased with age, markedly so in women. Mean common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCAIMT) and prevalence of carotid plaque increased steeply with increasing numbers of metabolic syndrome components; mean CCAIMT was higher and plaque more prevalent in participants with metabolic syndrome than without.
Conclusion
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components by NCEP ATP III criteria was substantial across cities, ranging from 14% to 27%. CARMELA findings, including evidence of the association of metabolic syndrome and carotid atherosclerosis, should inform appropriate clinical and public health interventions.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-52
PMCID: PMC2760519  PMID: 19781089
14.  Incremental cardiovascular costs and resource use associated with diabetes: an assessment of 29,863 patients in the US managed-care setting 
Background
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of cardiovascular events, and there is an associated economic burden attached to this risk. We conducted a retrospective claims database analysis to evaluate incremental cardiovascular costs in diabetic versus non-diabetic patients hospitalized for a cardiovascular event.
Methods
Patients hospitalized for a cardiovascular event between January 1, 2001 and June 30, 2005 were identified from a large US managed-care population. Diabetic patients were identified by evidence of type 2 diabetes in the 12 months prior to the index hospitalization. Direct medical costs and resource use - including inpatient expenditures (for the index and first recurrent hospitalizations), as well as outpatient, laboratory, and pharmacy expenditures (during the 3-year follow-up period) - were determined for patients with or without diabetes.
Results
Of the 29,863 patients identified with a cardiovascular hospitalization, 5,501 patients (18.4%) had a history of diabetes in the pre-index period (mean age, 57.8 years; 42.1% female). The overall mean follow-up period was 22.8 months. The incidence of subsequent cardiovascular events in the first year of follow-up was significantly higher for patients with diabetes compared with non-diabetic patients for all types of cardiovascular events except angina. Compared with non-diabetic patients, patients with diabetes had similar mean direct medical costs per patient for the index cardiovascular hospitalization ($17,435 versus $16,917; P = 0.09), and the first recurrent cardiovascular hospitalization ($18,488 versus $17,481; P = 0.2), yet higher mean total direct medical costs per patient for cardiovascular events during follow-up years (Year 1: $8,805 versus $6,982; Year 2: $13,860 versus $10,056; Year 3: $16,149 versus $12,163; all P ≤ 0.0002). The cost difference between diabetic and non-diabetic patients remained significant after adjusting for age, gender and other potential confounders in multivariate regression analysis. The mean (SD) total period of inpatient cardiovascular hospitalization after 3 years of follow-up was 3.3 (12.4) days for patients with diabetes compared with 1.8 (5.8) days for non-diabetic patients (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion
Diabetic patients hospitalized for a cardiovascular event incur higher costs for cardiovascular care than their non-diabetic counterparts. This analysis of the incremental cardiovascular cost and resource use provides the basis for greater accuracy and precision when modeling the economic value of initiatives aimed at reducing cardiovascular morbidity in patients with diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-53
PMCID: PMC2762466  PMID: 19781099
15.  Blood pressure control and components of the metabolic syndrome: the GOOD survey 
Background
The GOOD (Global Cardiometabolic Risk Profile in Patients with Hypertension Disease) survey showed that blood pressure control was significantly worse in hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes mellitus than in those with essential hypertension only. This analysis aimed to investigate which components of the metabolic syndrome are primarily associated with poor blood pressure control.
Methods
The GOOD survey was designed as an observational cross-sectional survey in 12 European countries to assess the cardiometabolic risk profile in patients with essential hypertension. Investigators were randomly selected from a list of general practitioners (70% of investigators) and a list of specialists such as internists, cardiologists and hypertension specialists (30% of investigators). Data from 3,280 outpatients with hypertension, aged at least 30 years who were receiving antihypertensive treatment or had newly diagnosed hypertension according to the European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology criteria, were included in the analyses. Blood pressure control, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, serum triglycerides, total and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol measurements were compared in patients with diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, with diabetes mellitus only, with metabolic syndrome only, and with neither metabolic syndrome nor diabetes mellitus.
Results
The highest blood pressure values were found in patients with metabolic syndrome with or without diabetes mellitus. Blood pressure was significantly lower in patients with diabetes mellitus only. The highest BMI, waist circumference and serum triglycerides, and the lowest HDL cholesterol levels among the groups studied occurred in patients with metabolic syndrome, either with or without diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion
Among the components of the metabolic syndrome, it is not impaired glucose tolerance which is associated with the poor response to antihypertensive treatment. Instead, visceral obesity and dyslipidemia components of the metabolic syndrome, i.e. hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL cholesterol levels, are associated with resistance to antihypertensive treatment.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-51
PMCID: PMC2757016  PMID: 19754934
16.  MMP-1 serum levels predict coronary atherosclerosis in humans 
Background
Myocardial infarction results as a consequence of atherosclerotic plaque rupture, with plaque stability largely depending on the lesion forming extracellular matrix components. Lipid enriched non-calcified lesions are considered more instable and rupture prone than calcified lesions. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are extracellular matrix degrading enzymes with plaque destabilisating characteristics which have been implicated in atherogenesis. We therefore hypothesised MMP-1 and MMP-9 serum levels to be associated with non-calcified lesions as determined by CT-angiography in patients with coronary artery disease.
Methods
260 patients with typical or atypical chest pain underwent dual-source multi-slice CT-angiography (0.6-mm collimation, 330-ms gantry rotation time) to exclude coronary artery stenosis. Atherosclerotic plaques were classified as calcified, mixed or non-calcified.
Results
In multivariable regession analysis, MMP-1 serum levels were associated with total plaque burden (OR: 1.37 (CI: 1.02-1.85); p < 0.05) in a model adjusted for age, sex, BMI, classical cardiovascular risk factors, hsCRP, adiponectin, pericardial fat volume and medication. Specification of plaque morphology revealed significant association of MMP-1 serum levels with non-calcified plaques (OR: 1.16 (CI: 1.0-1.34); p = 0.05) and calcified plaques (OR: 1.22 (CI: 1,03-1.45); p < 0.05) while association with mixed plaques was lost in the fully adjusted model. No associations were found between MMP9 serum levels and total plaque burden or plaque morphology.
Conclusion
MMP-1 serum levels are associated with total plaque burden but do not allow a specification of plaque morphology.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-50
PMCID: PMC2754422  PMID: 19751510
17.  Pioglitazone enhances collateral blood flow in ischemic hindlimb of diabetic mice through an Akt-dependent VEGF-mediated mechanism, regardless of PPARγ stimulation 
Background
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is commonly associated with both microvascular and macrovascular complications and a strong correlation exists between glycaemic control and the incidence and progression of vascular complications. Pioglitazone, a Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) ligand indicated for therapy of type T2DM, induces vascular effects that seem to occur independently of glucose lowering.
Methods
By using a hindlimb ischemia murine model, in this study we have found that pioglitazone restores the blood flow recovery and capillary density in ischemic muscle of diabetic mice and that this process is associated with increased expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Importantly, these beneficial effects are abrogated when endogenous Akt is inhibited; furthermore, the direct activation of PPARγ, with its selective agonist GW1929, does not restore blood flow recovery and capillary density. Finally, an important collateral vessel growth is obtained with combined treatment with pioglitazone and selective PPARγ inhibitor GW9662.
Conclusion
These data demonstrate that Akt-VEGF pathway is essential for ischemia-induced angiogenic effect of pioglitazone and that pioglitazone exerts this effect via a PPARγ independent manner.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-49
PMCID: PMC2745363  PMID: 19737384
18.  Hemostatic risk factors in patients with coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes - a two year follow-up of 243 patients 
Backgound
Thrombosis is regarded to be a key factor in the development of acute coronary syndromes in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). We hypothesize, that hemostatic and rheological risk factors may be of major relevance for the incidence and the risk stratification of these patients.
Methods
In 243 patients with coronary artery disease and stable angina pectoris parameters of metabolism, hemostasis, blood rheology and endogenous fibrinolysis were assessed. Patients were prospectively followed for 2 years in respect to elective revascularizations and acute coronary syndromes.
Results
During follow-up 88 patients presented with cardiac events, 22 of those were admitted to the hospital because of acute events, 5 Patients were excluded due to non- cardiac death. Patients with clinical events were found to be more frequently diabetic and presented with a more progressed coronary atherosclerosis. Even though patients with diabetes mellitus demonstrated a comparable level of multivessel disease (71% vs. 70%) the rate of elective revascularization was higher (41% vs. 28%, p < 0.05). The results were also unfavorable for the incidence of acute cardiovascular events (18% vs. 8%, p < 0.01). In comparison to non-diabetic patients diabetics demonstrated significantly elevated levels of fibrinogen (352 ± 76 vs. 312 ± 64 mg/dl, p < 0.01), plasma viscosity (1.38 ± 0.23 vs. 1.31 ± 0.16 mPas, p < 0.01), red blood cell aggregation (13.2 ± 2.5 vs. 12.1 ± 3.1 E, p < 0.05) and plasmin-activator-inhibitor (6.11 ± 3.4 vs. 4.7 ± 2.7 U/l, p < 0.05).
Conclusion
Pathological alterations of fibrinogen, blood rheology and plasminogen-activator-inhibtor as indicators of a procoagulant state are of major relevance for the short-term incidence of cardiac events, especially in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2, and may be used to stratify patients to specific therapies.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-48
PMCID: PMC2743654  PMID: 19735543
19.  Folic acid supplementation normalizes the endothelial progenitor cell transcriptome of patients with type 1 diabetes: a case-control pilot study 
Background
Endothelial progenitor cells play an important role in vascular wall repair. Patients with type 1 diabetes have reduced levels of endothelial progenitor cells of which their functional capacity is impaired. Reduced nitric oxide bioavailability and increased oxidative stress play a role in endothelial progenitor cell dysfunction in these patients. Folic acid, a B-vitamin with anti-oxidant properties, may be able to improve endothelial progenitor cell function. In this study, we investigated the gene expression profiles of endothelial progenitor cells from patients with type 1 diabetes compared to endothelial progenitor cells from healthy subjects. Furthermore, we studied the effect of folic acid on gene expression profiles of endothelial progenitor cells from patients with type 1 diabetes.
Methods
We used microarray analysis to investigate the gene expression profiles of endothelial progenitor cells from type 1 diabetes patients before (n = 11) and after a four week period of folic acid supplementation (n = 10) compared to the gene expression profiles of endothelial progenitor cells from healthy subjects (n = 11). The probability of genes being differentially expressed among the classes was computed using a random-variance t-test. A multivariate permutation test was used to identify genes that were differentially expressed among the two classes. Functional classification of differentially expressed genes was performed using the biological process ontology in the Gene Ontology database.
Results
Type 1 diabetes significantly modulated the expression of 1591 genes compared to healthy controls. These genes were found to be involved in processes regulating development, cell communication, cell adhesion and localization. After folic acid treatment, endothelial progenitor cell gene expression profiles from diabetic patients were similar to those from healthy controls. Genes that were normalized by folic acid played a prominent role in development, such as the transcription factors ID1 and MAFF. Few oxidative-stress related genes were affected by folic acid.
Conclusion
Folic acid normalizes endothelial progenitor cell gene expression profiles of patients with type 1 diabetes. Signaling pathways modulated by folic acid may be potential therapeutic targets to improve endothelial progenitor cell function.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-47
PMCID: PMC2739843  PMID: 19706161
20.  Changes in cultured endothelial cell glycosaminoglycans under hyperglycemic conditions and the effect of insulin and heparin 
Background
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) contain glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains made primarily of heparan sulfate (HS). Hyperglycemia in diabetes leads to endothelial injury and nephropathy, retinopathy and atherosclerosis. Decreased HSPG may contribute to diabetic endothelial injury. Decreased tissue HS in diabetes has been reported, however, endothelial HS changes are poorly studied.
Objective
To determine total GAGs, including HS, in endothelium under hyperglycemic conditions and the protective effect of insulin and heparin.
Methods
Confluent primary porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAECs) were divided into control, glucose (30 mM), insulin (0.01 unit/ml) and glucose plus insulin treatment groups for 24, 48 and 72 hours. Additionally, PAECs were treated with glucose, heparin (0.5 μg/ml) and glucose plus heparin for 72 hours. GAGs were isolated from cells and medium. GAG concentrations were determined by the carbazole assay and agarose gel electrophoresis.
Results
GAGs were significantly increased only in control and glucose plus insulin groups at 72 versus 24 hours. Glucose decreased cell GAGs and increased medium GAGs, and insulin alone decreased cell GAGs at all times compared to control. In the glucose plus insulin group, cell GAGs were less than control at 24 hours, and greater than glucose or insulin alone at 48 and 72 hours while GAGs in medium were greater than control at all times and glucose at 72 hours. Heparin increased GAGs in glucose treated cells and medium.
Conclusion
High glucose and insulin alone reduces endothelial GAGs. In hyperglycemic conditions, heparin or insulin preserves GAGs which may protect cells from injury. Insulin is an effective diabetic therapy since it not only lowers blood glucose, but also protects endothelium.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-46
PMCID: PMC2739842  PMID: 19695080
21.  Association between carotid diameter and the advanced glycation endproduct Nε-Carboxymethyllysine (CML) 
Background
Nε-Carboxymethyllysine (CML) is the major non-cross linking advanced glycation end product (AGE). CML is elevated in diabetic patients and apparent in atherosclerotic lesions. AGEs are associated with hypertension and arterial stiffness potentially by qualitative changes of elastic fibers. We investigated whether CML affects carotid and aortic properties in normoglycemic subjects.
Methods
Hundred-two subjects (age 48.2 ± 11.3 years) of the FLEMENGHO study were stratified according to the median of the plasma CML level (200.8 ng/ml; 25th percentile: 181.6 ng/ml, 75th percentile: 226.1 ng/ml) into "high CML" versus "low CML" as determined by ELISA. Local carotid artery properties, carotid intima media thickness (IMT), aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), blood pressure and fetuin-A were analyzed. In 26 patients after carotidectomy, CML was visualized using immunohistochemistry.
Results
According to the CML median, groups were similar for anthropometric and biochemical data. Carotid diameter was enlarged in the "high" CML group (485.7 ± 122.2 versus 421.2 ± 133.2 μm; P < 0.05), in particular in participants with elevated blood pressure and with "high" CML ("low" CML: 377.9 ± 122.2 μm and "high" CML: 514.5 ± 151.6 μm; P < 0.001). CML was associated fetuin-A as marker of vascular inflammation in the whole cohort (r = 0.28; P < 0.01) and with carotid diameter in hypertensive subjects (r = 0.42; P < 0.01). CML level had no effect on aortic stiffness. CML was detected in the subendothelial space of human carotid arteries.
Conclusion
In normoglycemic subjects CML was associated with carotid diameter without adaptive changes of elastic properties and with fetuin-A as vascular inflammation marker, in particular in subjects with elevated blood pressure. This may suggest qualitative changes of elastic fibers resulting in a defective mechanotransduction, in particular as CML is present in human carotid arteries.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-45
PMCID: PMC2733133  PMID: 19660101
22.  Visceral fat dominant distribution in male type 2 diabetic patients is closely related to hepatic insulin resistance, irrespective of body type 
Background
All previous studies that investigated the association between abdominal fat distribution and insulin resistance evaluated subcutaneous and visceral fat area and/or volume, but these values were not related to the body type of each subject. In the present study we have examined the association between abdominal fat distribution and peripheral (muscle)/hepatic sensitivity to insulin using the visceral to abdominal subcutaneous fat area ratio (VF/SF ratio) in male patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This ratio defines the predominancy of visceral or subcutaneous abdominal adiposity, independent of the body type of each individual.
Methods
Thirty-six type 2 diabetic male patients underwent a euglycemic insulin clamp (insulin infusion rate = 40 mU/m2·min) with 3-3H-glucose to measure insulin-mediated total body (primarily reflects muscle) glucose disposal (TGD) and suppression of endogenous (primarily reflects liver) glucose production (EGP) in response to a physiologic increase in plasma insulin concentration. Abdominal subcutaneous (SF) and intraabdominal visceral fat (VF) areas were quantitated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the level of L4–5.
Results
TGD and TGD divided by steady state plasma insulin concentration during the insulin clamp (TGD/SSPI) correlated inversely with body mass index (BMI), total fat mass (FM) measured by 3H2O, SF and VF areas, while VF/SF ratio displayed no significant relationship with TGD or TGD/SSPI. In contrast, EGP and the product of EGP and SSPI during the insulin clamp (an index hepatic insulin resistance) correlated positively with VF/SF ratio, but not with BMI, FM, VF or SF.
Conclusion
We conclude that, independent of the individual's body type, visceral fat dominant accumulation as opposed to subcutaneous fat accumulation is associated with hepatic insulin resistance, whereas peripheral (muscle) insulin resistance is more closely related to general obesity (i.e. higher BMI and total FM, and increased abdominal SF and VF) in male patients with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-44
PMCID: PMC2729732  PMID: 19656356
23.  Cardiomyopathy in offspring of diabetic rats is associated with activation of the MAPK and apoptotic pathways 
Background
Maternal diabetes affects the developing fetal cardiovascular system. Newborn offspring of diabetic mothers can have a transient cardiomyopathy. We hypothesized that cardiomyopathic remodeling is associated with activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and apoptotic pathways.
Methods
To evaluate the effects of moderate and severe maternal hyperglycemia, pregnant rats were made diabetic with an injection of 50 mg/kg of streptozotocin. Moderately well controlled maternal diabetes was achieved with twice daily glucose checks and insulin injections. No insulin was given to severely diabetic dams. Offspring of moderate and severe diabetic mothers (OMDM and MSDM, respectively) were studied on postnatal days 1 (NB1) and 21 (NB21). Echocardiograms were performed to evaluate left ventricular (LV) dimensions and function. Myocardial MAPK and apoptotic protein levels were measured by Western blot.
Results
OMDM had increased cardiac mass at NB1 compared to controls that normalized at NB21. OSDM demonstrated microsomia with relative sparing of cardiac mass and a dilated cardiomyopathy at NB1. In both models, there was a persistent increase in the HW:BW and significant activation of MAPK and apoptotic pathways at NB21.
Conclusion
The degree of maternal hyperglycemia determines the type of cardiomyopathy seen in the offspring, while resolution of both the hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies is associated with activation of MAPK signaling and apoptotic pathways.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-43
PMCID: PMC2731081  PMID: 19646268
24.  Different modulation by dietary restriction of adipokine expression in white adipose tissue sites in the rat 
Background
White adipose tissue (WAT) is a disperse organ acting as energy storage depot and endocrine/paracrine controlling factor in the management of energy availability and inflammation. WAT sites response under energy-related stress is not uniform. In the present study we have analyzed how different WAT sites respond to limited food restriction as a way to better understand the role of WAT in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome.
Methods
Overweight male rats had their food intake reduced a 40% compared with free-feeding controls. On day ten, the rats were killed; circulating glucose, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, triacylglycerols and other parameters were measured. The main WAT sites were dissected: mesenteric, retroperitoneal, epididymal and subcutaneous inguinal, which were weighed and frozen. Later all subcutaneous WAT was also dissected and weighed. Samples were used for DNA (cellularity) analysis and mRNA extraction and semiquantitarive RT-PCR analysis of specific cytokine gene expressions.
Results
There was a good correlation between serum leptin and cumulative WAT leptin gene mRNA, but not for adiponectin. Food restriction reduced WAT size, but not its DNA content (except for epididymal WAT). Most cytokines were correlated to WAT site weight, but not to DNA. There was WAT site specialization in the differential expression (and probably secretion) of adipokines: subcutaneous WAT showed the highest concentration for leptin, CD68 and MCP-1, mesenteric WAT for TNFα (and both tissues for the interleukins 1β and 6); resistin was highly expressed in subcutaneous and retroperitoneal WAT.
Conclusion
Food restriction induced different patterns for mesenteric and the other WAT sites, which may be directly related to both the response to intestine-derived energy availability, and an inflammatory-related response. However, retroperitoneal WAT, and to a lower extent, subcutaneous and epididymal, reacted decreasing the expression of inflammatory markers and the signaling of decreased energy availability in their stores. The varying cytokine expression patterns highlight the fact that WAT sites show different inflammatory and signaling responses to energy availability; they are too much different to simply extend to the whole-body WAT the findings of one or even a couple of sites.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-42
PMCID: PMC3224727  PMID: 19642981
25.  The role of glucose lowering agents on restenosis after percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with diabetes mellitus 
Introduction
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly, and individuals with diabetes are at high risk for cardiovascular disorders. Subsequently the percentage of patients with diabetes subjected to revascularisation, i.e. either percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) also rises rapidly. The outcome of patients with diabetes after PCI is worse than for patients without diabetes. Restenosis is the main limiting factor of the long-term success of PCI. Although stents and antithrombotics improved outcome after PCI in both diabetics and non-diabetics, diabetics still have a worse prognosis. This leads to the suggestion that the restenosis mechanism in diabetics might be different from that in non-diabetics.
Conclusion
Several glucose lowering agents have been shown to influence the restenosis process and thus the outcome after PCI. Current data of especially metformin and thiazolidinediones indicate beneficial results as compared to insulin and sulfonylurea on restenosis. However, no large trials have been undertaken in which the effect of glucose lowering agents on restenosis is associated with improved outcome.
The purpose of this review is to summarize the effect of diabetes and glucose lowering agents on restenosis.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-41
PMCID: PMC2727510  PMID: 19635170

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