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Kidney Int. 1993 Mar;43(3):585-91.

High glucose inhibits cytosolic calcium signaling in cultured rat mesangial cells.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Cattedra di Endocrinologia e Medicina Costiuzionale, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Glomerular vasodilatation in the early stages of type I diabetes mellitus apparently results from arteriolar insensitivity to vasoconstrictors. Since cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) is a major signaling mechanism for smooth muscle contraction, we studied whether growth of smooth muscle-like rat glomerular mesangial cells in media with high glucose concentration affects [Ca2+]i responses to vasoconstrictors. In cells grown for five days in 22 mM glucose, we observed blunted responsiveness to three structurally unrelated vasoconstrictors that elevate [Ca2+]i via a phospholipase C-dependent mechanism, angiotensin II, prostaglandin F2 alpha, and arginine vasopressin. Inhibition of [Ca2+]i responses was not due to an osmotic effect of high glucose, since it was not mimicked by hypertonic mannitol. While the size of intracellular Ca2+ pools was unaffected by elevated glucose, Na+/Ca2+ exchange was markedly inhibited, thus ruling out both impaired filling of Ca2+ stores and enhanced counter-regulatory mechanisms. Impaired myoinositol transport or intracellular sorbitol accumulation were not responsible for the effects of high glucose, since supplementation of media with myo-inositol or with the aldose reductase inhibitor. Alcon 1576, failed to reverse insensitivity to vasoconstrictors. On the other hand, down-regulation or pharmacological inhibition of protein kinase C completely reversed the effects of high glucose, thus indicating involvement of this signal transduction pathway. These data suggest a possible intracellular mechanism for the impaired vascular sensitivity underlying early renal hemodynamic changes in diabetes mellitus.

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