Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetes. 2002 Jun;51(6):1938-48.

Hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis in mouse myocardium: mitochondrial cytochrome C-mediated caspase-3 activation pathway.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


Diabetic cardiomyopathy is related directly to hyperglycemia. Cell death such as apoptosis plays a critical role in cardiac pathogenesis. Whether hyperglycemia induces myocardial apoptosis, leading to diabetic cardiomyopathy, remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that apoptotic cell death occurs in the diabetic myocardium through mitochondrial cytochrome c-mediated caspase-3 activation pathway. Diabetic mice produced by streptozotocin and H9c2 cardiac myoblast cells exposed to high levels of glucose were used. In the hearts of diabetic mice, apoptotic cell death occurred as detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Correspondingly, caspase-3 activation as determined by enzymatic assay and mitochondrial cytochrome c release detected by Western blotting analysis were observed. Supplementation of insulin inhibited diabetes-induced myocardial apoptosis as well as suppressed hyperglycemia. To explore whether apoptosis in diabetic hearts is related directly to hyperglycemia, we exposed cardiac myoblast H9c2 cells to high levels of glucose (22 and 33 mmol/l) in cultures. Apoptotic cell death was detected by TUNEL assay and DAPI nuclear staining. Caspase-3 activation with a concomitant mitochondrial cytochrome c release was also observed. Apoptosis or activation of caspase-3 was not observed in the cultures exposed to the same concentrations of mannitol. Inhibition of caspase-3 with a specific inhibitor, Ac-DEVD-cmk, suppressed apoptosis induced by high levels of glucose. In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was detected in the cells exposed to high levels of glucose. These results suggest that hyperglycemia directly induces apoptotic cell death in the myocardium in vivo. Hyperglycemia-induced myocardial apoptosis is mediated, at least in part, by activation of the cytochrome c-activated caspase-3 pathway, which may be triggered by ROS derived from high levels of glucose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center