UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Redox Signaling and Regional Heterogeneity of Endothelial Dysfunction in db/db Mice Sallam, Nada A.; Laher, Ismail


The variable nature of vascular dysfunction in diabetes is not well understood. We explored the functional adaptation of different arteries in db/db mice in relation to increased severity and duration of diabetes. We compared endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation in the aortae, as well as the carotid and femoral arteries, of db/db mice at three ages in parallel with increased body weight, oxidative stress, and deterioration of glycemic control. Vascular responses to in vitro generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) isoforms were assessed. There was a progressive impairment of endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxation in the aortae of db/db mice. The carotid artery was resistant to the effects of in vivo and in vitro induced oxidative stress, and it maintained unaltered vasodilatory responses, likely because the carotid artery relaxed in response to ROS. The femoral artery was more reliant on dilation mediated by endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizing factor(s), which was reduced in db/db mice at the earliest age examined and did not deteriorate with age. Substantial heterogeneity exists between the three arteries in signaling pathways and protein expression of SODs under physiological and diabetic conditions. A better understanding of vascular heterogeneity will help develop novel therapeutic approaches for targeted vascular treatments, including blood vessel replacement.

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