The Leader of Antioxidants in Diabetes-Induced Complications (ADIC) Study Group. Cellular Stress Response & Signal Transduction Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common metabolic disease, representing a serious risk factor for the development of cardiovascular complications, such as coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease and hypertension. Oxidative stress (OS), a feature of DM, is defined as an increase in the steady-state levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and may occur as a result of increased free radical generation and/or decreased anti-oxidant defense mechanisms. Increasing evidence indicates that hyperglycemia is the initiating cause of the tissue damage in DM, either through repeated acute changes in cellular glucose metabolism, or through long-term accumulation of glycated biomolecules and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are formed by the Maillard process, a non-enzymatic reaction between ketone group of the glucose molecule or aldehydes and the amino groups of proteins that contributes to the aging of proteins and to the pathological complications of DM. In the presence of uncontrolled hyperglycemia, the increased formation of AGEs and lipid peroxidation products exacerbate intracellular OS and results in a loss of molecular integrity, disruption in cellular signaling and homeostasis, followed by inflammation and tissue injury such as endothelium dysfunction, arterial stiffening and microvascular complications. In addition to increased AGE production, there is also evidence of multiple pathways elevating ROS generation in DM, including; enhanced glucose auto-oxidation, increased mitochondrial superoxide production, protein kinase C-dependent activation of NADPH oxidase, uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity, increased substrate flux through the polyol pathway and stimulation of eicosanoid metabolism. It is, therefore, not surprising that the correction of these variables can result in amelioration of diabetic cardiovascular abnormalities. A linking element between these phenomena is cellular redox imbalance due to glycoxidative stress (GOS). Thus, recent interest has focused on strategies to prevent, reverse or retard GOS in order to modify the natural history of diabetic cardiovascular abnormalities. This review will discuss the links between GOS and diabetes-induced cardiovascular disorders and the effect of antioxidant therapy on altering the development of cardiovascular complications in diabetic animal models.
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