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J Proteome Res. 2010 Jan;9(1):578-84. doi: 10.1021/pr900435z.

The effects of rosiglitazone and high glucose on protein expression in endothelial cells.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Chair of Metabolism, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.


Rosiglitazone is a thiazolidinedione used to treat insulin resistance in diabetes. Although thiazolidinediones may also exert cardiovascular effects, contrasting results were reported. Favorable effects were shown for pioglitazone, whereas adverse reactions were suspected for rosiglitazone. Therefore, a reassessment of the molecular effects of rosiglitazone on vascular cells is required. We tested the effects of rosiglitazone on the proteome of human endothelial cells grown under either normal or high glucose levels. Protein profiles were analyzed in both membrane and cytosolic fractions. About 150 cytosolic proteins, and approximately 100 membrane proteins, were detected. Two-thirds of the proteins significantly altered by high glucose were also modulated by rosiglitazone in an antagonistic way. Half of these proteins are involved in apoptosis. Using an independent assay of apoptosis based on nucleosome quantification, an approximately 20% stimulation by high versus normal glucose was shown (p < 0.05). Conversely, rosiglitazone reduced apoptosis by approximately 30-50% in cells exposed to either glucose conditions (p < 0.001). In addition, rosiglitazone differently modulated cytoskeleton and energy metabolism-related proteins. Our data show novel, potential sites of action of rosiglitazone through protein expression of endothelial cells. These mechanisms may foster new investigations on the overall vascular effects of this compound, and help to discriminate between desired and adverse effects.

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