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Diabetologia. 1998 Jan;41(1):101-4.

Decreased nitric oxide synthase activity in platelets from IDDM and NIDDM patients.

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Department of Diabetology, INRCA Hospital, Ancona, Italy.


Nitric oxide (NO) produced by platelet nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibits platelet activation by increased cytoplasmic cGMP levels. The aim of this study was to investigate platelet NOS activity in insulin-dependent (IDDM) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), which are characterized by enhanced platelet activation. HbA1c levels, platelet NOS and platelet membrane Na+/K+ ATPase activity were determined in 19 IDDM patients, 21 NIDDM patients and 31 healthy control subjects. NOS activity was measured by a spectrophotometric method based on NO-dependent oxidation of oxyhaemoglobin to met-haemoglobin. Na+/K+ ATPase activity was measured by the method of Kitao and Hattori. Both NOS and Na+/K+ ATPase activity were significantly reduced in diabetic subjects compared with control subjects. NOS showed a significant negative relation with HbA1c levels and a positive relation with Na+/K+ ATPase activity in diabetic patients. It is hypothesized that the decreased NOS activity might play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complications.

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