Author(s): Cardillo C, Campia U, Bryant MB, Panza JA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction may contribute to the risk of premature atherosclerosis in patients with diabetes. Endothelin (ET-1) may be involved in this process by activating smooth muscle cell mitogenesis and leukocyte adhesion. We sought to assess the activity of endogenous ET-1 in a group of patients with type II diabetes mellitus with the use of antagonists of ET-1 receptors. METHODS AND RESULTS: Forearm blood flow (FBF) responses (strain gauge plethysmography) to intraarterial infusion of a selective blocker of ET(A) receptors (BQ-123) and, on a different occasion, to ET-1, were measured in 15 patients with diabetes and 12 healthy controls. In addition, 5 patients with diabetes received coinfusion of BQ-123 and BQ-788 (a selective blocker of ET(B) receptors). In normal subjects, BQ-123 did not significantly modify FBF from baseline (P=0.16). In contrast, BQ-123 administration resulted in a significant vasodilator response in patients with diabetes (P<0.001). Infusion of exogenous ET-1 resulted in lower vasoconstrictor responses in patients with diabetes than in controls (P=0.001), whereas the vasoconstrictor response to norepinephrine was similar in the 2 groups (P=0.78). In patients with diabetes, the vasodilator response to selective ET(A) blockade was not significantly modified by nonselective blockade of ET-1 receptors obtained by coinfusion of BQ-123 and BQ-788. CONCLUSIONS: The activity of endogenous ET-1 on ET(A) receptors is enhanced in the resistance vessels of patients with diabetes, whereas their sensitivity to exogenous ET-1 is blunted. This abnormality may participate in the pathophysiology of vascular complications associated with diabetes.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism