Author(s): Liefeldt L, Rylski B, Walcher F, Manhart J, Kron S,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Transgenic overexpression of human endothelin-2 in rats was used to characterize the contribution of endothelin to diabetic cardiomyopathy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diabetes mellitus was induced by streptozotocin in transgenic rats and transgene-negative controls. Nondiabetic animals were included as well to form a 4-group study design. Heart morphological and molecular alterations were analysed following 6 months of hyperglycaemia. RESULTS: Plasma endothelin concentrations were significantly higher in both transgenic groups than in wild-type groups (nondiabetic: 3.5 +/- 0.4 vs. 2.1 +/- 0.2, P < 0.05; diabetic: 4.5 +/- 0.4 vs. 2.5 +/- 0.4 fmol mL(-1), P < 0.01). Diabetes induced cardiac hypertrophy in both wild-type and transgenic rats and showed the highest myocardial interstitial tissue volume density in diabetic transgenic rats (1.5 +/- 0.07\%) as compared with nondiabetic transgenic (1.1 +/- 0.03\%), nondiabetic wild-type (0.8 +/- 0.01\%) and diabetic wild-type rats (1.1 +/- 0.03\%; P < 0.01 for all comparisons). A similar pattern with the most severe changes in the enothelin-2 transgenic, diabetic animals was observed for hypertrophy of the large coronary arteries and the small intramyocardial arterioles respectively. Cardiac mRNA expression of endothelin-1, endothelin receptors type A and B were altered in some degree by diabetes or transgenic overexpression of endothelin-2, but not in a uniform manner. Blood pressure did not differ between any of the four groups. CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of the human endothelin-2 gene in rats aggravates diabetic cardiomyopathy by more severe coronary and intramyocardial vessel hypertrophy and myocardial interstitial fibrosis. This transgenic intervention provides further and independent support for a detrimental, blood pressure-independent role of endothelins in diabetic cardiac changes.
This article was published in Eur J Clin Invest
and referenced in Journal of Hypertension: Open Access