Catechin averts experimental diabetes mellitus-induced vascular endothelial structural and functional abnormalities

Pooja Bhardwaj, Deepa Khanna, Pitchai Balakumar
Cardiovascular Toxicology 2014, 14 (1): 41-51
Diabetes mellitus is associated with an induction of vascular endothelial dysfunction (VED), an initial event that could lead to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Previous studies showed that catechin, a key component of green tea, possesses vascular beneficial effects. We investigated the effect of catechin hydrate in diabetes mellitus-induced experimental vascular endothelial abnormalities (VEA). Streptozotocin (50 mg/kg, i.p., once) administration to rats produced diabetes mellitus, which subsequently induced VEA in 8 weeks by markedly attenuating acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation in the isolated aortic ring preparation, decreasing aortic and serum nitrite/nitrate concentrations and impairing aortic endothelial integrity. These abnormalities in diabetic rats were accompanied with elevated aortic superoxide anion generation and serum lipid peroxidation in addition to hyperglycemia. Catechin hydrate treatment (50 mg/kg/day p.o., 3 weeks) markedly prevented diabetes mellitus-induced VEA and vascular oxidative stress. Intriguingly, in vitro incubation of L-NAME (100 μM), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, or Wortmannin (100 nM), a selective inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), markedly prevented catechin hydrate-induced improvement in acetylcholine-provoked endothelium-dependent relaxation in the diabetic rat aorta. Moreover, catechin hydrate treatment considerably reduced the elevated level of serum glucose in diabetic rats. In conclusion, catechin hydrate treatment prevents diabetes mellitus-induced VED through the activation of endothelial PI3K signal and subsequent activation of eNOS and generation of nitric oxide. In addition, reduction in high glucose, vascular oxidative stress, and lipid peroxidation might additionally contribute to catechin hydrate-associated prevention of diabetic VEA.

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