Author(s): Peir C, Lafuente N, Matesanz N, Cercas E, Llergo JL,
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Abstract Alterations of the vessel structure, which is mainly determined by smooth muscle cells through cell growth and/or cell death mechanisms, are characteristic of diabetes complications. We analysed the influence of high glucose (22 mM) on cultured human aortic smooth muscle cell growth and death, as hyperglycaemia is considered one of the main factors involved in diabetic vasculopathy. Growth curves were performed over 96 h in medium containing 0.5\% foetal calf serum. Cell number increased by 2 - 4 fold over the culture period in the presence of 5.5 mM (low) glucose, while a 20\% reduction in final cell number was observed with high glucose. Under serum-free conditions, cell number remained constant in low glucose cultures, but a 40\% decrease was observed in high glucose cultures, suggesting that high glucose may induce increased cell death rather than reduced proliferation. Reduced final cell number induced by high glucose was also observed after stimulation with 5 or 10\% foetal calf serum. The possible participation of oxidative stress was investigated by co-incubating high glucose with different reactive oxygen species scavengers. Only catalase reversed the effect of high glucose. Intracellular H(2)O(2) content, visualized with 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein and quantified by flow cytometry, was increased after high glucose treatment. To investigate the cell death mechanism induced by high glucose, apoptosis and necrosis were quantified. No differences were observed regarding the apoptotic index between low and high glucose cultures, but lactate dehydrogenase activity was increased in high glucose cultures. In conclusion, high glucose promotes necrotic cell death through H(2)O(2) formation, which may participate in the development of diabetic vasculopathy.
This article was published in Br J Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism