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FASEB J. 2000 Nov;14(14):2357-64.

C-peptide inhibits leukocyte-endothelium interaction in the microcirculation during acute endothelial dysfunction.

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Department of Physiology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


C-peptide is a cleavage product that comes from processing proinsulin to insulin that induces nitric oxide (NO) -mediated vasodilation. NO modulates leukocyte-endothelium interaction. We hypothesized that C-peptide might inhibit leukocyte-endothelium interaction via increased release of endothelial NO. Using intravital microscopy of the rat mesentery, we measured leukocyte-endothelium interactions after administration of C-peptide to the rat. Superfusion of the rat mesentery with either thrombin or L-NAME consistently and significantly increased the number of rolling, adhering, and transmigrated leukocytes. C-peptide significantly attenuated either thrombin- or L-NAME-induced leukocyte-endothelium interactions in rat mesenteric venules. A control scrambled sequence of C-peptide characterized by the same amino acid composition in a randomized sequence failed to inhibit leukocyte-endothelium interactions. These effects of C-peptide were associated with decreased surface expression of the cell adhesion molecules P-selectin and ICAM-1 on the microvascular endothelium. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) mRNA levels were increased in rats injected with C-peptide. This enhanced eNOS expression was associated with a marked increase in basal NO release from the aorta of C-peptide-treated rats. We conclude that C-peptide is a potent inhibitor of leukocyte-endothelium interaction and that this effect is specifically related to inhibition of endothelial cell adhesion molecules via maintenance of NO release from the vascular endothelium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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