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Exp Anim. 2009 Apr;58(2):113-21.

Aortic ER stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus in APA hamsters.

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Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Atherosclerosis is thought to be associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction and the accumulation of unfolded proteins. In this study, we examined the relationship between atherosclerosis and ER stress and the effect of sodium 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PBA), a kind of chemical chaperone, on atherosclerosis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic APA hamsters. Male, 8-week-old, APA hamsters were injected with streptozotocin (30 mg/kg body weight) to induce diabetes mellitus, and ER stress was evaluated immunohistochemically or by semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis using ER stress markers such as calreticulin and GPR78. Control hamsters were injected with citrate buffer and were similarly analyzed. In the aorta of control animals, a weak ER stress was detected, and 4-PBA treatment decreased the calreticulin- and GRP78-positive areas and also reduced the mRNA levels of calreticulin and GRP78. On the other hand, strong ER stress was detected at the lesser curvature of the aortic arch of streptozotocin-induced diabetic APA hamsters. However, 4-PBA treatment failed to lessen the ER stress in the aorta and had no effect on improvement of the atherosclerotic lesions. These results may provide an explanation for the complex etiology of atherosclerosis accompanied by diabetes mellitus and various other clinical phenotypes of atherosclerosis.

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