[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic melatonin treatment has been shown to prevent the harmful effects of diet-induced obesity and reduce myocardial susceptibility to ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). However, the exact mechanism whereby it exerts its beneficial actions on the heart in obesity/insulin resistance remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the effects of relatively short-term melatonin treatment on the heart in a rat model of diet-induced obesity. Control and diet-induced obese Wistar rats (fed a high calorie diet for 20 weeks) were each subdivided into 3 groups receiving drinking water with or without melatonin (4mg/kg/day) for the last 6 or 3 weeks of experimentation. A number of isolated hearts were perfused in the working mode, subjected to regional or global ischaemia-reperfusion; others were non-perfused. Metabolic parameters, myocardial infarct sizes, baseline and post-ischaemic activation of PKB/Akt, ERK42/44, GSK-3β and STAT-3 were determined. Diet-induced obesity caused increases in body weight gain, visceral adiposity, fasting blood glucose, serum insulin and triglyceride levels with a concomitant cardiac hypertrophy, large post-ischaemic myocardial infarct sizes and a reduced cardiac output. Melatonin treatment (3 and 6 weeks) decreased serum insulin levels and the HOMA-index (p<0.05) with no effect on weight gain (after 3 weeks), visceral adiposity, serum triglyceride and glucose levels. It increased serum adiponectin levels, reduced myocardial infarct sizes in both groups and activated baseline myocardial STAT-3 and PKB/Akt, ERK42/44 and GSK-3β during reperfusion. Overall, short-term melatonin administration to obese/insulin resistant rats reduced insulin resistance and protected the heart against ex vivo myocardial IRI independently of body weight change and visceral adiposity.
Journal of Pineal Research 09/2014; · 7.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although obesity is still considered a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disorders, recent studies suggested that it may also be associated with reduced morbidity and mortality, the so-called "obesity paradox". Experimental data on the impact of diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance on myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury are controversial. Similar conflicting data have been reported regarding the effects of ischaemic preconditioning on ischaemia/reperfusion injury in hearts from such animals. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the susceptibility to myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion damage in two models of diet-induced obesity as well as the effect of ischaemic and pharmacological preconditioning on such hearts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In isolated rat heart perfusion experiments, drug administration occurs via retrograde perfusion. This can be done in the non-recirculating mode (coronary effluent is discarded), or recirculating mode (coronary effluent is collected and reused). It was recently observed in our lab while using sanguinarine, an MKP-1 inhibitor, that there were differences in outcomes depending on the mode of recirculation used.
Cardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. 07/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ongoing worldwide obesity epidemic is paralleled by an elevated incidence of the metabolic syndrome, a disorder referred to as a clustering of metabolic abnormalities that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Considered as a multifunctional molecule, the pineal gland hormone melatonin is also involved in body fat mass and energy metabolism regulation. A large body of evidence supports the beneficial effects of melatonin on the cardiovascular function in normal and pathophysiological conditions. However, melatonin’s role in cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and other related disorders including the metabolic syndrome needs further investigations, particularly in humans. This chapter will address the effects of melatonin on the metabolic syndrome focusing on obesity and insulin-resistant conditions. Since cardiovascular disease is the primary outcome of the metabolic syndrome, the effects of melatonin on cardiovascular function will be also described focusing on normal and pathological conditions. In view of the current knowledge, we aim to reveal the potential clinical relevance of melatonin or melatonin receptor agonists in the setting of obesity-induced metabolic syndrome.
01/2014: pages 6:71-95; , ISBN: ISBN 978-81-322-0824-2 & 978-81-322-0825-9
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since it was identified as the elusive endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) in the 1980s, nitric oxide (NO) has rapidly gained status as one of the most important signalling molecules in the cardiovascular system. Now, 20 years later, NO is regarded by most to be a ubiquitous mediator of cardioprotection. However, due to various complex underlying cellular mechanisms, the actions of NO often seem to be contradictory. This article sheds light on some of the mechanisms that may influence the variable actions of NO in the heart. Its role in conditions of oxygen deprivation (ischaemia and hypoxia) in particular is relevant to basic scientists and clinicians alike, since the prevalence of ischaemic heart disease is on the rise (in both the developed and the developing worlds) and novel therapeutic options are in constant demand. NO is a promising candidate molecule that could find therapeutic application. For this to be achieved, a sound understanding of this simple molecule and its complex actions is required.
Cardiovascular journal of Africa 10/2013; 20(5):303-10. · 0.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a serine-threonine protein kinase, discovered as a regulator of glycogen synthase. GSK-3 may regulate the expression of SERCA-2a potentially affecting myocardial contractility. It is known to phosphorylate and inhibit IRS-1, thus disrupting insulin signalling. This study aimed to determine whether myocardial GSK-3 protein and its substrate proteins are dysregulated in obesity and insulin resistance, and whether chronic GSK-3 inhibition can prevent or reverse this.
Weight matched male Wistar rats were rendered obese by hyperphagia using a special diet (DIO) for 16 weeks and compared to chow fed controls. Half of each group was treated with the GSK-3 inhibitor CHIR118637 (30 mg/kg/day) from week 12 to16 of the diet period. Biometric and biochemical parameters were measured and protein expression determined by Western blotting and specific antibodies. Ca(2+)ATPase activity was determined spectrophotometrically. Cardiomyocytes were prepared by collagenase perfusion and insulin stimulated 2-deoxy-glucose uptake determined.
DIO rats were significantly heavier than controls, associated with increased intra-peritoneal fat and insulin resistance. GSK-3 inhibition did not affect weight but improved insulin resistance, also on cellular level. It had no effect on GSK-3 expression but elevated its phospho/total ratio and elevated IRS-2 expression. Obesity lowered SERCA-2a expression and activity while GSK-3 inhibition alleviated this. The phospho/total ratio of phospholamban underscored inhibition of SERCA-2a in obesity. In addition, signs of myocardial hypertrophy were observed in treated control rats.
GSK-3 inhibition could not reverse all the detrimental effects of obesity but may be harmful in normal rat hearts. It regulates IRS-2, SERCA-2a and phospholamban expression but not IRS-1.
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy 07/2013; · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) has been shown by several workers to protect the heart against ischaemia/reperfusion damage. Melatonin, both in the picomolar and micromolar range, significantly reduces infarct size and improves functional recovery during reperfusion. This may be due to its free radical scavenging and anti-oxidant effects, while the melatonin receptor and its marked anti-adrenergic actions may also be involved. The latter is mediated by nitric oxide (NO), guanylyl cyclase and protein kinase C (PKC). Melatonin-induced cardioprotection is associated with activation of protein kinase B (PKB), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) (the Reperfusion Injury Salvage Kinase (RISK) pathway) and signal activator and transducer 3 (STAT-3) (the Survivor Activating Factor Enhancement (SAFE) pathway) during reperfusion and inhibition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). Very little is known about the effect of melatonin on myocardial substrate metabolism. Melatonin was demonstrated to be involved in the regulation of whole body glucose homeostasis via its effects on pancreatic insulin secretion and may thus indirectly affect myocardial substrate metabolism in a circadian manner.
Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition) 01/2013; E5:305-315.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of beta-adrenergic preconditioning (BPC). The roles of adenosine and its receptor subtypes, the generation of oxygen free radicals (ROS) and activation of the K(ATP) channels as well as the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI(3)K)/PKB/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal transduction pathways during the triggering and mediation phases were evaluated. Using the isolated working rat heart, BPC was elicited by administration of denopamine (beta1 adrenergic receptor agonist, 10(-7) M), isoproterenol (beta1/beta2 adrenergic receptor agonist, 10(-7) M) or formoterol (beta2 adrenergic receptor agonist, 10(-9) M) for 5 min followed by 5 min washout. Index ischaemia was 35 min regional ischaemia and infarct size determined using the tetrazolium method. The role of adenosine was studied using adenosine deaminase and selective antagonists as well as the PI(3)K and ERK inhibitors, wortmannin and PD98,059, bracketing the triggering and mediating phases. Involvement of ROS, PKC, the mitochondrial K(ATP) channels, release of endogenous opioids and bradykinin was studied by administration of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), bisindolylmaleimide, the K(ATP) channel blocker 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD), naloxone or HOE140, respectively. Activation of PKB/Akt and ERKp44/p42 during triggering and reperfusion was determined by Western blot. Preconditioning with all three beta-adrenergic receptor agonists caused a reduction in infarct size and an improvement in postischaemic function. BPC preconditioning with isoproterenol, denopamine or formoterol was abolished by the adenosine A3 receptor antagonist MRS1191 during both the triggering and mediation phases. Isoproterenol-induced preconditioning (beta1/beta2 PC) was attenuated by MRS1754, an adenosine A(2B) receptor antagonist, during the triggering phase and abolished during reperfusion. The mediation phase of beta1/beta2 PC was also abolished by ZM241385, an adenosine A(2A) antagonist. The free radical scavenger NAC caused a significant attenuation of cardioprotection induced by isoproterenol when administered during both trigger and mediation phases, while being effective during the trigger phase with denopamine and during reperfusion in formoterol preconditioned hearts. The mitochondrial K(ATP) channel blocker, 5-HD, was without effect on beta1/beta2 PC during both triggering and mediation phases. BPC in rat hearts is dependent on activation of the A(3) adenosine receptors by endogenously produced adenosine and production of free radicals during the triggering and mediation phases while the A(2A) and A(2B) adenosine receptors participate mainly during reperfusion. The mitochondrial K(ATP) channels do not contribute to cardioprotection at any stage. Activation of ERK and PI3K/PKB/Akt during the triggering and reperfusion phases is associated with cardioprotection.
Archiv für Kreislaufforschung 09/2012; 107(5):281. · 7.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of dietary creatine supplementation alone and in combination with exercise on basal cardiac function, susceptibility to ischaemia/reperfusion injury and mitochondrial oxidative function. There has been an increase in the use of creatine supplementation among sports enthusiasts, and by clinicians as a therapeutic agent in muscular and neurological diseases. The effects of creatine have been studied extensively in skeletal muscle, but not in the myocardium.
Male Wistar rats were swim-trained for 8 weeks, 5 days per week. Hearts were excised and either freeze-clamped for biochemical analysis or perfused on the isolated heart perfusion system to assess function and ischaemia/reperfusion tolerance. Mechanical function was documented in working heart and retrograde mode. The left coronary artery was ligated and infarct size determined. Mitochondrial oxidative capacity was quantified.
Aortic output recovery of hearts from the sedentary controls (CSed) was significantly higher than those from creatine-supplemented sedentary (CrSed), creatine-supplemented exercised (CrEx) as well as control exercised (CEx) groups. Ischaemic contracture of hearts from CrEx was significantly higher than that of CSed. There were no differences in infarct size and mitochondrial oxygen consumption.
This study suggests that creatine supplementation has no effects on basal cardiac function but reduces myocardial tolerance to ischaemia in hearts from exercise-trained animals, by increasing the ischaemic contracture and decreasing reperfusion aortic output. Exercise training alone also significantly decreased aortic output recovery. However, the exact mechanisms for these adverse myocardial effects are unknown and need further investigation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome is recognized as a cluster of disturbances associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Over the past two decades, the number of people with the metabolic syndrome has increased at an alarming rate. This increase is associated with the global epidemic of both obesity and diabetes. Cardiovascular mortality is increased among diabetics and obesity-related insulin-resistant patients, and obesity is currently recognized as independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We aimed to establish the effects of a short period of an altered diet on the heart using a rat model of hyperphagia-induced obesity (diet supplemented with sucrose and condensed milk for 8 weeks = DIO) compared to age-matched controls. Isolated, perfused hearts were subjected to global or regional ischaemia/reperfusion. Function on reperfusion was recorded and infarct size determined. A plasma lipid profile was established via HPLC-based methods and proteins involved in metabolic signalling determined either by western blotting or RT-PCR. 8 weeks of diet resulted in whole-body but not myocardial insulin resistance, increased plasma triglyceride and phospholipid levels as well as increased lipid peroxidation. Despite the similar baseline function, hearts from DIO animals showed significantly poorer postischaemic recovery than controls (41.9 % RPP recovery vs 57.9 %, P < 0.05, n = 7-11/group) but surprisingly, smaller infarct size (24.95 ± 1.97 vs 47.26 ± 4.05 % of the area at risk, P < 0.005, n = 8/group). Basal phosphorylation of PKB/Akt was elevated but IRS-1 and SERCA-2 expression severely downregulated. In conclusion, after only 8 weeks of a slight change in diet, the rat heart shows signs of metabolic remodelling. Some of these changes may be protective but others may be detrimental and eventually lead to maladaptation.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 05/2012; 368(1-2):37-45. · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the discovery in the 1980s that nitric oxide (NO) is in fact the elusive endothelium-derived relaxing factor, it has become evident that NO is not only a major cardiovascular signalling molecule, but that changes in its bioavailability are crucial in determining whether atherosclerosis will develop or not. Sustained high levels of harmful circulating stimuli associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes mellitus elicit responses in endothelial cells that appear sequentially, namely endothelial cell activation and endothelial dysfunction (ED). ED, characterised by reduced NO bioavailability, is now recognised by many as an early, reversible precursor of atherosclerosis. The pathogenesis of ED is multifactorial; however, oxidative stress appears to be the common underlying cellular mechanism in the ensuing loss of vaso-active, inflammatory, haemostatic and redox homeostasis in the body's vascular system. The role of ED as a pathophysiological link between early endothelial cell changes associated with cardiovascular risk factors and the development of ischaemic heart disease is of importance to basic scientists and clinicians alike.
Cardiovascular journal of Africa. 05/2012; 23(4):222-31.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By increasing circulating free fatty acids and the rate of fatty acid oxidation, obesity decreases glucose oxidation and myocardial tolerance to ischemia. Partial inhibition of fatty acid oxidation may improve myocardial tolerance to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in obesity. We assessed the effects of oxfenicine treatment on post ischemic cardiac function and myocardial infarct size in obese rats.
Male Wistar rats were fed a control diet or a high calorie diet which resulted in diet induced obesity (DIO) for 16 weeks. Oxfenicine (200 mg/kg/day) was administered to control and DIO rats for the last 8 weeks. Isolated hearts were perfused and infarct size and post ischemic cardiac function was assessed after regional or global ischemia and reperfusion. Cardiac mitochondrial function was assessed and myocardial expression and activity of CPT-1 (carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1) and IRS-1 (insulin receptor substrate-1) was assessed using Western blot analysis.
In the DIO rats, chronic oxfenicine treatment improved post ischemic cardiac function and reduced myocardial infarct size after I/R but had no effect on the cardiac mitochondrial respiration. Chronic oxfenicine treatment worsened post ischemic cardiac function, myocardial infarct size and basal mitochondrial respiration in control rat hearts. Basal respiratory control index (RCI) values, state 2 and state 4 respiration rates and ADP phosphorylation rates were compromised by oxfenicine treatment.
Chronic oxfenicine treatment improved myocardial tolerance to I/R in the obese rat hearts but decreased myocardial tolerance to I/R in control rat hearts. This decreased tolerance to ischemia of oxfenicine treated controls was associated with adverse changes in basal and reoxygenation mitochondrial function. These changes were absent in oxfenicine treated hearts from obese rats.
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy 03/2012; 26(3):205-16. · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Apart from its powerful antioxidant properties, the pineal gland hormone melatonin has recently attracted the interest of various investigators as a multifunctional molecule. Melatonin has been shown to have beneficial effects in cardiovascular disorders including ischaemic heart disease and hypertension. However, its role in cardiovascular risk factors including obesity and other related metabolic abnormalities is not yet established, particularly in humans. New emerging data show that melatonin may play an important role in body weight regulation and energy metabolism. This review will address the role of melatonin in the MetS focusing on its effects in obesity, insulin resistance and leptin resistance. The overall findings suggest that melatonin should be exploited as a therapeutic tool to prevent or reverse the harmful effects of obesity and its related metabolic disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PKCε is central to cardioprotection. Sub-proteome analysis demonstrated co-localization of activated cardiac PKCε (aPKCε) with metabolic, mitochondrial, and cardioprotective modulators like hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). aPKCε relocates to the mitochondrion, inactivating glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) to modulate glycogen metabolism, hypertrophy and HIF-1α. However, there is no established mechanistic link between PKCε, p-GSK3β and HIF1-α. Here we hypothesized that cardiac-restricted aPKCε improves mitochondrial response to hypobaric hypoxia by altered substrate fuel selection via a GSK3β/HIF-1α-dependent mechanism. aPKCε and wild-type (WT) mice were exposed to 14 days of hypobaric hypoxia (45 kPa, 11% O(2)) and cardiac metabolism, functional parameters, p-GSK3β/HIF-1α expression, mitochondrial function and ultrastructure analyzed versus normoxic controls. Mitochondrial ADP-dependent respiration, ATP production and membrane potential were attenuated in hypoxic WT but maintained in hypoxic aPKCε mitochondria (P < 0.005, n = 8). Electron microscopy revealed a hypoxia-associated increase in mitochondrial number with ultrastructural disarray in WT versus aPKCε hearts. Concordantly, left ventricular work was diminished in hypoxic WT but not aPKCε mice (glucose only perfusions). However, addition of palmitate abrogated this (P < 0.05 vs. WT). aPKCε hearts displayed increased glucose utilization at baseline and with hypoxia. In parallel, p-GSK3β and HIF1-α peptide levels were increased in hypoxic aPKCε hearts versus WT. Our study demonstrates that modest, sustained PKCε activation blunts cardiac pathophysiologic responses usually observed in response to chronic hypoxia. Moreover, we propose that preferential glucose utilization by PKCε hearts is orchestrated by a p-GSK3β/HIF-1α-mediated mechanism, playing a crucial role to sustain contractile function in response to chronic hypobaric hypoxia.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 09/2011; 226(9):2457-68. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a conserved catabolic process for long-lived proteins and organelles and is primarily responsible for nonspecific degradation of redundant or faulty cell components. Although autophagy has been described as the cell's major adaptive strategy in response to metabolic challenges, its influence on the cell's energy profile is poorly understood. In the myocardium, autophagy is active at basal levels and is crucial for maintaining its contractile function. Defects in the autophagic machinery cause cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. In this paper we propose that (1) autophagy contributes significantly to the metabolic balance sheet of the heart. (2) Increased autophagy contributes to an improved myocardial energy profile through changing the cardiac substrate preference. (3) Substrates generated through autophagy give rise to an alternative for ATP production with an oxygen-sparing effect. These elements identify autophagy in a new context of myocardial metabolic interregulation, which we discuss in the settings of myocardial infarction, heart failure and the diabetic heart. It is hoped that the hypothesis presented can lead to new insights aimed at exploiting autophagy to improve existing metabolic-based therapy in heart disease.
Medical Hypotheses 07/2011; 77(1):52-7. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus is rampantly increasing and the need for therapeutics is crucial. In recognition of this, untested antidiabetic agents are flooding the market. Diavite™ which is a product consisting solely of the dried and ground pods of Prosopis glandulosa (Torr.) [Fabaceae] is currently marketed as a food supplement with glucose stabilizing properties. However, these are anecdotal claims lacking scientific evidence. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of Prosopis glandulosa as an antidiabetic agent.
Male Wistar rats were rendered (a) type 1 diabetic after an intraperitoneal injection of STZ (40 mg/kg) and (b) insulin resistant after a 16-week high caloric diet (DIO). Zucker fa/fa ZDF rats were used in a pilot study. Half of each group of animals was placed on Prosopis glandulosa treatment (100mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks and the remaining animals served as age-matched controls. At the time of sacrifice, blood was collected for glucose and insulin level determination, the pancreata of the STZ rats were harvested for histological analysis and cardiomyocytes prepared from the DIO and Zucker fa/fa hearts for determination of insulin sensitivity.
Type 1 diabetic model: Prosopis glandulosa treatment resulted in significant increased insulin levels (p<0.001), which was accompanied by a significant decrease in blood glucose levels (p<0.05). Additionally, Prosopis glandulosa treatment resulted in increased small β-cells (p<0.001) in the pancreata. The body weight of the STZ animals decreased significantly after STZ injection, with Prosopis glandulosa treatment partially preventing this. Zucker fa/fa rats: Prosopis glandulosa treatment significantly reduced fasting glucose levels (p<0.01) and improved IPGTT, when comparing treated to untreated animals. DIO insulin resistant model: Prosopis glandulosa treatment resulted in an increased basal (p<0.01) and insulin-stimulated (p<0.05) glucose uptake by cardiomyocytes prepared from this group.
The present study showed that Prosopis glandulosa treatment moderately lowers glucose levels in different animal models of diabetes, stimulates insulin secretion, leads to the formation of small β-cells and improves insulin sensitivity of isolated cardiomyocytes.
Journal of ethnopharmacology 05/2011; 137(1):298-304. · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic cell injury leads to cell death. Three main morphologies have been described: apoptosis, cell death with autophagy and necrosis. Their inherent dynamic nature, a point of no return (PONR) and molecular overlap have been stressed. The relationship between a defined cell death type and the severity of injury remains unclear. The functional role of autophagy and its effects on cell death onset is largely unknown. In this study we report a differential induction of cell death, which is dependent on the severity and duration of an ischemic insult. We show that mild ischemia leads to the induction of autophagy and apoptosis, while moderate or severe ischemia induces both apoptotic and necrotic cell death without increased autophagy. The autophagic response during mild injury was associated with an ATP surge. Real-time imaging and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) revealed that increased autophagy delays the PONR of both apoptosis and necrosis significantly. Blocking autophagy shifted PONR to an earlier point in time. Our results suggest that autophagic activity directly alters intracellular metabolic parameters, responsible for maintaining mitochondrial membrane potential and cellular membrane integrity. A similar treatment also improved functional recovery in the perfused rat heart. Taken together, we demonstrate a novel finding: autophagy is implicated only in mild injury and positions the PONR in cell death.
Experimental Cell Research 03/2011; 317(10):1437-53. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exogenous insulin therapy improves endothelial function in insulin resistant patients, indirectly indicating that nitric oxide synthase activity and NO production may be impaired. Insulin stimulates production of NO by activating a signaling pathway including insulin receptor substrate-1, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and protein kinase B (PKB/Akt). Angiotensin II type I (AT1) receptor-evoked oxidative stress is implicated in the inactivation of NO, impairing endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. Blocking the actions of Angiotensin II with an AT1 receptor antagonist (Losartan), has beneficial effects in patients with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study investigated whether elevated Angiotensin II influences myocardial insulin resistance, insulin signaling and NO production in a rat model of diet-induced obesity (DIO) by antagonizing the actions of the AT1 receptor with Losartan. Isolated, perfused hearts, Western blotting and flow-cytometric methods were utilized to determine myocardial function, expression and phosphorylation of key proteins and NO production, respectively. Results showed that hearts from DIO rats are insulin resistant (higher serine phosphorylation of IRS-1, lower insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of PKB/Akt and eNOS, lower NO production) and had poorer functional recovery and larger infarct development after ischaemia/reperfusion. Losartan improved the impaired functional recovery, and NO production and enhanced eNOS expression and phosphorylation and reduced infarct size in hearts from the DIO animals. Data obtained from Losartan treatment also revealed that Angiotensin II signaling modulates myocardial PKB/Akt expression. We conclude that Angiotensin II signaling exacerbates inhibition of NO production in insulin resistance and that this can be improved by AT1 antagonism.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 03/2011; 349(1-2):21-31. · 2.33 Impact Factor