Basic Research in Cardiology

, Volume 103, Issue 5, pp 407–416 | Cite as

Maturation-induces endothelial dysfunction via vascular inflammation in diabetic mice

  • Cuihua Zhang
  • Yoonjung Park
  • Andrea Picchi
  • Barry J. Potter


We hypothesized that maturation-induced vascular inflammation produces endothelial dysfunction in type II diabetes and TNFα plays a key role in triggering inflammation in the development of diabetes. In control (Db/db) mice aged 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and acetylcholine (ACh) induced dose-dependent vasodilation, and dilation to ACh was blocked by the NO synthase inhibitor NG-monomethyl-l-arginine. In type II diabetic (db/db) mice at age of 12, 18 and 24 weeks, ACh or flow-induced dilation was blunted compared to Db/db; endothelial function is normal at 6 weeks of age in db/db Vs. control mice, but SNP produced comparable dilation at age of 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks. Decrements in endothelial function in db/db mice progressively increased from 6–12 to 18–24 weeks. Administration of neutralizing antibodies to TNFα ameliorated endothelial dysfunction in db/db mice aged 12, 18 and 24 weeks. The effect was most prominent in the younger animals. Plasma concentration, expression of TNFα and TNFα receptor 1 (TNFR1) were elevated in coronary arterioles, even at the age of 6 weeks before the development of diabetes in db/db mice compared to control mice. Superoxide production was lower in Db/db mice compared to db/db mice and increments in superoxide production in db/db mice progressively increased from 6–12 to 18–24 weeks. NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor apocynin attenuated superoxide production in db/db mice at 12 weeks of age, mitochondria respiratory chain inhibitor rotenone attenuated superoxide production at 24 weeks in db/db and Db/db mice, but the combination of apocynin and rotenone reduced superoxide production at 18 weeks for db/db and Db/db mice. The expression of TNFα and its receptors increase progressively with maturation in concert with the development of diabetes. Incremental increases in TNFα/TNFR1 expression induces activation and production of superoxide via NAD(P)H oxidase and/or mitochondria respiratory chain, leading to endothelial dysfunction progressing to the development of type II diabetes.


inflammation cytokines coronary microcirculation endothelial dysfunction 



Funding sources: This study was supported by grants from Pfizer Atorvastatin Research Award (2004-37), American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant (110350047A) and NIH grants (RO1-HL077566 and RO1-HL085119) to Dr. Cuihua Zhang. Conflicts of interest None.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cuihua Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yoonjung Park
    • 4
  • Andrea Picchi
    • 4
  • Barry J. Potter
    • 5
  1. 1.Dept. of Internal Medicine, Dalton Cardiovascular Research CenterUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Medical Pharmacology and PhysiologyUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Dept. of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Michael E DeBakey InstituteTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  5. 5.Dept. of PhysiologyLSU Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA

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