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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 18;277(3):1794-9. Epub 2001 Nov 13.

Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase enhances mitogenic actions of insulin in endothelial cells.

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  • 1Cardiology Branch, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The concept of "selective insulin resistance" has emerged as a unifying hypothesis in attempts to reconcile the influence of insulin resistance with that of hyperinsulinemia in the pathogenesis of macrovascular complications of diabetes. To explore this hypothesis in endothelial cells, we designed a set of experiments to mimic the "typical metabolic insulin resistance" by blocking the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway and exposing the cells to increasing concentrations of insulin ("compensatory hyperinsulinemia"). Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with wortmannin blocked the ability of insulin to stimulate increased expression of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase, did not affect insulin-induced activation of MAP kinase, and increased the effects of insulin on prenylation of Ras and Rho proteins. At the same time, this experimental paradigm resulted in increased expression of vascular cellular adhesion molecules-1 and E-selectin, as well as increased rolling interactions of monocytes with endothelial cells. We conclude that inhibition of the metabolic branch of insulin signaling leads to an enhanced mitogenic action of insulin in endothelial cells.

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