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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 May;292(5):H2073-82. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Reactive oxygen species-selective regulation of aortic inflammatory gene expression in Type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Emory University, 1639 Pierce Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Vascular diseases are a major complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), although their etiology is poorly understood. NADPH oxidase-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and inflammation are potential mediators of DM-associated vascular diseases. Using db/db mice as a Type 2 diabetes model, we examined the relationship between NADPH oxidase-derived ROS and vascular inflammation. When compared with control m+/+ mice, aortas from 4- and 12-wk-old db/db mice had higher NADPH oxidase activity and increased superoxide levels, leading to NADPH oxidase-dependent impaired vasodilation at 12 wk. Diabetes progression from 4 to 12 wk led to increased Nox1, Nox4, and p22(phox) subunit mRNAs and induced the expression of a group of matrix remodeling-related cytokines: connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP-4), and osteopontin (OPN). After 8 wk of treatment with the superoxide scavenger Tempol, 12-wk-old db/db mice had lower superoxide production, reduced plasma glucose and lipids, and lower BMP-4 and OPN protein expression when compared with nontreated mice. No changes were observed with Tempol in CTGF or m+/+ mice. The ability of Tempol to reverse ROS production as well as OPN and BMP-4, but not CTGF, induction suggests that DM-induced vascular inflammation involves both ROS-sensitive and -insensitive pathways.

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