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Endocrinology. 2012 Jul;153(7):2985-96. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1101. Epub 2012 May 11.

Inhibitor of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 normalizes vascular endothelial function in type 2 diabetic mice by improving β-arrestin 2 translocation and ameliorating Akt/eNOS signal dysfunction.

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Department of Physiology and Morphology, Institute of Medicinal Chemistry, Hoshi University, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8501, Japan.


In type 2 diabetes, although Akt/endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) activation is known to be negatively regulated by G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2), it is unclear whether the GRK2 inhibitor would have therapeutic effects. Here we examined the hypotensive effect of the GRK2 inhibitor and its efficacy agonist both vascular (aortic) endothelial dysfunction (focusing especially on the Akt/eNOS pathway) and glucose intolerance in two type 2 diabetic models (ob/ob mice and nicotinamide+streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice). Mice were treated with a single injection of the GRK2 inhibitor or vehicle, and the therapeutic effects were compared by examining vascular function and by Western blotting. The GRK2 inhibitor lowered blood pressure in both diabetic models but not in their age-matched controls. The GRK2 inhibitor significantly improved clonidine-induced relaxation only in diabetic (ob/ob and DM) mice, with accompanying attenuations of GRK2 activity and translocation to the plasma membrane. These protective effects of the GRK2 inhibitor may be attributable to the augmented Akt/eNOS pathway activation (as evidenced by increases in Akt phosphorylation at Ser(473) and at Thr(308), and eNOS phosphorylation at Ser(1177)) and to the prevention of the GRK2 translocation and promotion of β-arrestin 2 translocation to the membrane under clonidine stimulation. Moreover, the GRK2 inhibitor significantly improved the glucose intolerance seen in the ob/ob mice. Our work provides the first evidence that in diabetes, the GRK2 inhibitor ameliorates vascular endothelial dysfunction via the Akt/eNOS pathway by inhibiting GRK2 activity and enhancing β-arrestin 2 translocation under clonidine stimulation, thereby contributing to a blood pressure-lowering effect. We propose that the GRK2 inhibitor may be a promising therapeutic agent for cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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