Author(s): Hamilton SJ, Chew GT, Watts GF
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Abstract Endothelial dysfunction is universal in diabetes, being intimately involved with the development of cardiovascular disease. The pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes is complex. It is initially related to the effects of fatty acids and insulin resistance on 'uncoupling' of both endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity and mitochondrial function. Oxidative stress activates protein kinase C (PKC), polyol, hexosamine and nuclear factor kappa B pathways, thereby aggravating endothelial dysfunction. Improvements in endothelial function in the peripheral circulation in diabetes have been demonstrated with monotherapies, including statins, fibrates, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, metformin and fish oils. These observations are supported by large clinical end point trials. Other studies show benefits with certain antioxidants, L-arginine, folate, PKC-inhibitors, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha and -gamma agonists and phosphodiesterase (PDE-5) inhibitors. However, the benefits of these agents remain to be shown in clinical end point trials. Combination treatments, for example, statins plus ACE inhibitors and statins plus fibrates, have also been demonstrated to have additive benefits on endothelial function in diabetes, but there are no clinical outcome data to date. Measurement of endothelial dysfunction in cardiovascular research can provide fresh opportunities for exploring the mechanism of benefit of new therapeutic regimens and for planning and designing large clinical trials.
This article was published in Diab Vasc Dis Res
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics