The risk of cerebrovascular disease is four- to sixfold higher in patients with diabetes. Vascular remodeling, characterized by extracellular matrix deposition and an increased media-to-lumen ratio, occurs in diabetes and contributes to the development of complications. However, diabetes-induced changes in the cerebrovascular structure remain unknown. Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor with profibrotic properties, is chronically elevated in diabetes. To determine diabetes-mediated changes in the cerebrovasculature and the role of ET-1 in this process, type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats were administered an ETA receptor antagonist for 4 weeks. Middle cerebral arteries were harvested and studies were performed to determine vascular structure. Tissue and plasma ET-1 levels were increased in GK rats compared with controls. Significant medial hypertrophy and collagen deposition resulted in an increased wall-to-lumen ratio in diabetic rats that was reduced by ETA receptor antagonism. Vascular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 activity was higher, but MMP-1 levels were significantly reduced in GK rats, and MMP levels were restored to control levels by ETA receptor antagonism. We conclude that ET-1 promotes cerebrovascular remodeling in type 2 diabetes through differential regulation of MMPs. Augmented cerebrovascular remodeling may contribute to an increased risk of stroke in diabetes, and ETA receptor antagonism may offer a novel therapeutic target.

Type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects more than 17 million Americans, holds a two- to sixfold increased risk for cerebrovascular disease and stroke (1,2), and 70% of patients with a recent stroke have overt diabetes or pre-diabetes characterized by impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance (3). However, the underlying basis of this predisposition remains unclear. Diabetic vascular complications are associated with remodeling of the vessel wall in the retinal, renal, and mesenteric circulations. However, diabetes-induced structural changes in the cerebral microvessels are unknown.

The endothelium is an early target in diabetes, and dysfunction of vascular endothelial cells has a role in the diabetic vascular disease process (4). For example, the release of vasodilator and antiproliferative mediators such as nitric oxide and prostaglandin-I2 is decreased, whereas production of endothelin-1 (ET-1) is increased (5). A significant correlation has been observed between plasma ET-1 levels and diabetes complications. In addition to being vasoconstrictive, ET-1 is also mitogenic. In streptozotocin-induced diabetes, nonselective ET receptor antagonism prevents extracellular matrix deposition in the retina as well as in the mesenteric arteries, providing evidence for a causal relationship (6,7). Nonselective blockade of ET receptors also prevents increased myogenic tone of cerebral vessels in diabetes (8), but the effect on vascular structure and the underlying mechanisms remain to be identified.

The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent proteases that are responsible for extracellular matrix turnover (9). In pathological states such as cardiovascular disease, the MMPs may become deleterious because of dysregulation and can result in tissue injury and inflammation. In experimental hypertension and atherosclerosis models, for example, increased MMP activity contributes to cardiac and vascular complications (1013). Although it has been shown that diabetes enhances aortic MMP activity, mesangial cells grown under high-glucose conditions have been shown to exhibit decreased MMP activity, which contributes to diabetic nephropathy via matrix accumulation. Clearly, the regulation of MMPs and their relative contribution to pathological processes varies between tissues; however, the regulation of MMP expression and activity in the cerebrovasculature and especially in diabetes is not known. To identify diabetes-induced pathological changes in the cerebrovasculature that may contribute to the development of cerebrovascular complications in diabetes, the current study had three objectives: 1) to assess the diabetes-induced structural changes in cerebral vessels, 2) to determine the expression and activity of the MMP system in these vessels, and 3) to determine to what extent ET-1 regulates cerebrovascular MMPs and remodeling. The central hypothesis was that increased MMP activity would be associated with hypertrophic remodeling of the cerebral vessels in the diabetic state and that blockade of the ET system would ameliorate this process.

The Medical College of Georgia institutional animal care and use committee approved all protocols. Male Wistar and Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats were obtained from Taconic (Germantown, NY) at 8 weeks of age. All animals were individually housed at the Medical College of Georgia’s animal care facility, were allowed access to food and water ad libitum, and were maintained on a 12-h light/dark cycle. During housing, drinking water, weight, and blood glucose measurements were performed twice weekly. Glucose measurements were taken from the tail vein and measured on a commercially available glucose meter (AccuChek; Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN). At 12 weeks of age, when all GK animals became overtly diabetic, telemetry transmitters for blood pressure measurements were implanted as previously reported (14). After a 2-week recovery period, control and diabetic animals were administered the ETA selective antagonist ABT-627 (5 mg · kg−1 · day−1) or vehicle only (15,16). The drug was dissolved in drinking water at a concentration based on the animal’s weight and daily water consumption. Treatment was maintained until the time the animals were killed at 18 weeks of age. Animals were anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital and exsanguinated via the abdominal aorta. On death, the brain was removed and placed in ice-cold physiological saline solution. For immunohistochemistry, middle cerebral arteries were perfused with Histogel (Richard Allen Scientific, Kalamazoo, MI) and then excised and embedded in the same matrix. On gelling of the matrix, the embedded vessel was placed in 10% formalin for storage. For protein studies, vessels were excised, snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen, and stored at −80°C.

Plasma measurements.

Plasma ET-1 and insulin were measured by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits from Alpco Diagnostics (Windham, NH). Plasma triglycerides and cholesterol were measured using commercially available kits (Wako, Richmond, VA).

Glucose clearance experiments.

Additional diabetic and control animals were restrained awake, and baseline glucose was checked via the tail vein. A glucose bolus (0.6 mg/kg) was injected via the dorsal tail vein, and glucose readings were taken at 5-min intervals for a total duration of 1 h.

Tissue homogenization and zymography.

Snap-frozen middle cerebral arteries were placed in modified radioimmunoprecipitation assay buffer (50 mmol/l Tris-HCl, 1% Nonidet P-40, 0.25% Na-deoxycholate, 150 mmol/l NaCl, 1 mmol/l phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, 1 μg/ml aprotinin, 1 μg/ml leupeptin, 1 μg/ml pepstatin, 1 mmol/l sodium orthovanadate, and 1 mmol/l sodium fluoride) and sonicated at room temperature for 8- to 10-s bursts. Samples were placed on ice between sonications. Total protein was measured using the Bradford method (BioRad, Richmond, CA) in a 96-well format and read on a Quant spectrophotometer. BSA was used as a standard. On the day of the experiment, samples (20 μg protein/sample) were loaded onto 10% gelatin zymogram gels (BioRad) and separated by molecular weight under nonreducing conditions. The gels were then rinsed twice in 2.5% Triton X-100 and incubated for 24 h in substrate buffer containing 21 mmol/l Tris-HCl, 10 mmol/l CaCl2, and 0.04% NaN3. Gels were then stained by Coomassie blue R-250 followed by destaining in 55% methanol and 7% acetic acid. Lytic activity was viewed as clear bands on a dark blue background and was quantitated by densitometric analysis (Gel-Pro version 3.1; Media Cybernetics, Carlsbad, CA). Kaleidoscope protein standards (Bio-Rad) and recombinant MMP-2 and -9 proteins (Calbiochem, San Diego, CA) were run in parallel with all samples. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Amersham Biosciences, Piscataway, NJ).

Immunohistochemistry and vessel morphometry.

Middle cerebral artery segments were fixed in 10% formalin, embedded in paraffin, sectioned at 4 μm, and mounted on treated slides. Slides were then deparaffinized, blocked (Super Block; Biogenex Labs, San Ramon, CA), and placed in PBS for 5 min. Slides were then incubated with ET-1 or CD68 primary antibody obtained from Peninsula Laboratories (San Carlos, CA) and Dako (Carpinteria, CA), respectively, at room temperature; washed; and then incubated in secondary antibody (LSAB2-HRP kit; Dako), followed by incubation with streptavidin–horseradish peroxidase. Bound antibody was detected with 3,3′-diaminobenzidine substrate kit. Additional slides were incubated with only the secondary antibody to determine nonspecific staining. Slides were viewed using an Axiovert microscope (Zeiss, Thornwood, NY) and captured using Spot software. For morphometric studies, 4-μm vessel segments were subjected to Verhoeff van Gieson’s elastic staining or picro-polychrome staining. Images were captured and analyzed using Spot software, and wall-to-lumen ratios were calculated.

Western blotting.

Protein levels of MMPs (MMP-1 and -2) were determined by immunoblotting, as previously described (15). All blots were restained with anti-actin antibody for equal protein loading.

Statistical analysis.

The profile of blood glucose changes over time was analyzed for group differences (control versus diabetic) using a repeated-measures ANOVA in which the interaction of group by time was the test of interest. A Tukey adjustment was used for the post hoc comparison of the groups at each time point. A rank transformation (17) was applied to all other data before analysis to address issues of nonnormality. A 2 × 2 ANOVA was used to investigate the main effects of disease (control versus diabetic) and drug (vehicle versus ABT-627) and the interaction between disease and drug. Effects were considered statistically significant at P < 0.05. SAS version 8.2 was used for all analyses. Results are expressed as the means ± SE.

Animal data.

Metabolic parameters for control and diabetic (GK) animals are summarized in Table 1. Diabetic animals were significantly smaller than controls, and ETA antagonism did not affect animal weight. GK animals displayed mildly elevated blood glucose and blood pressure without hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia. Experiments were performed in diabetic and control animals to assess glucose clearance capacity. Figure 1 indicates that the maximal response to glucose challenge was significantly higher in untreated diabetic animals versus control (259% of baseline vs. 168%, P < 0.05). Additionally, after 30 min diabetic animals exhibited a decreased ability to clear glucose and return to normal levels, providing evidence for impaired glucose tolerance (P < 0.05).

Local and systemic ET-1 levels.

Plasma ET-1 levels were elevated approximately threefold in diabetic animals (P = 0.001) (Fig. 2A). Tissue ET-1 was assessed by immunohistochemistry and, as shown in Fig. 2B, there was enhanced endothelial and adventitial staining in the middle cerebral arteries from diabetic animals compared with controls. Staining in the absence of the primary ET-1 antibody was determined to eliminate nonspecific staining by the secondary antibody.

Cerebrovascular MMP expression and activity.

MMP activity in middle cerebral arteries from treated and untreated diabetic GK and control Wistar rats was assessed using gelatin zymography. A representative zymogram is shown in Fig. 3A. Lytic activity, corresponding with the molecular weight of active MMP-2, was detected in all samples. Densitometric analysis demonstrated that MMP-2 activity was increased in diabetes (P < 0.0001) and that ETA receptor antagonism prevented this increase in activation (P = 0.001 vs. untreated GK) (Fig. 3A). Because TIMP-2 is the endogenous inhibitor of MMP-2, TIMP-2 levels were measured to determine whether the increase in MMP-2 activity arises from a decrease in its inhibitor. Although there was no significant difference between the control and diabetic groups, there was a trend for increased TIMP-2 levels with ETA antagonism.

To determine whether increased MMP-2 activity is caused by an increase in protein levels, total MMP-2 protein in middle cerebral arteries was assessed by immunoblotting. Two bands of 72 and 67 kDa were detected corresponding to the zymogen and cleaved active forms, respectively. A representative immunoblot is shown in Fig. 4A. Densitometric analysis of both bands indicated a fourfold increase in MMP-2 protein in diabetes (P < 0.003 vs. control). However, unlike the zymography studies, ETA receptor antagonism did not cause a change in MMP-2 protein levels (Fig. 4A). Because MMP-1 is the major MMP that degrades fibrillar collagen, protein levels were determined in middle cerebral arteries by immunoblotting. There was a significant decrease in MMP-1 levels in GK rats (P = 0.034) and a trend toward restoration of MMP-1 levels to control values with ETA receptor antagonism (Fig. 4B).

Vascular structure.

Verhoeff van Gieson elastic staining was performed to determine vessel diameter and wall thickness (Fig. 5A). There was a twofold increase in the wall-to-lumen ratio in GK rats that was significantly reduced by ETA receptor antagonism (P = 0.042) (Fig. 5B). Compared with control rats, there was increased staining for smooth muscle fibers and collagen, as evidenced by deep purple staining by Verhoeff van Gieson elastic staining in the cross-sections from GK rats. These changes were detected primarily in the medial layer. To further evaluate the collagen deposition dynamics, picro-polychrome staining was used to differentiate the old and newly laid collagen. In untreated GK rats, there was increased blue staining for new collagen, masking the red staining for old collagen, indicating increased collagen synthesis. ETA antagonism reduced the staining pattern for new collagen. To determine whether and to what extent inflammation contributes to the increased wall thickness and collagen deposition, the same vascular cross-sections were immunostained with CD68 antibody, a marker for macrophages. There was no difference between groups (data not shown).

It is well established that diabetes causes hypertrophic remodeling of the peripheral vasculature, characterized by reduced lumen diameter, media enlargement, abnormalities of expression and/or localization of extracellular matrix components (such as collagen and laminin deposition in the vessel wall and accelerated formation of atherosclerotic plaques), and intimal proliferation (7,1821). It is also known that type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects more than 17 million Americans, holds a two- to sixfold increased risk for cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Furthermore, diabetes increases the risk of microvascular hemorrhage and poor outcome of stroke. The majority of experimental stroke models are induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion, and, although it is known that the integrity of cerebral blood vessels is very critical in the pathophysiology of stroke, diabetes-induced changes in middle cerebral artery structure have remained unknown. This study was designed to look at structural changes and potential mechanisms of altered matrix dynamics in the cerebral microvasculature in diabetes. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that mild hyperglycemia for 4–6 weeks stimulates the local production of ET-1 and causes medial thickening in the cerebrovasculature, which are associated with increased gelatinase (MMP-2) activity and decreased collagenase (MMP-1) levels. Furthermore, MMP activation and an increased wall-to-lumen ratio can be partially prevented by the administration of an ETA receptor antagonist, providing evidence that ET-1 is in part responsible for pathological remodeling of the cerebral vessels in diabetes.

The chemically induced streptozotocin model of type 1 diabetes, the most commonly used experimental model of diabetes, displays highly elevated glucose levels. There is still a need for spontaneous models of type 2 diabetes in which blood glucose levels are comparable to those seen in patients. GK rats generally spontaneously manifest hyperglycemia by ∼8–10 weeks of age (22). It has been shown that these animals retain >40% of their total β-cell mass (a number similar to human type 2 diabetes) but have impaired glucose-induced insulin release (2325). In addition, treatment of GK rats with nateglinide, an insulin secretagogue, reduces postprandial hyperglycemia and elicits early-phase insulin secretion, a phenomenon not observed in type 1 diabetes (26,27). Insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia often accompany type 2 diabetes, and the presence of these risk factors in GK rats has been controversial (22,28,29). Thus, we specifically assessed the presence of these risk factors in our colony. GK rats developed hyperglycemia by ∼12 weeks of age. Although plasma insulin levels were not elevated, impaired glucose tolerance tests demonstrated a defect in clearing glucose in GK rats when compared with normal Wistar rats, which served as control for this model. Metabolic parameters demonstrated that by 18 weeks of age (6 weeks of diabetes), this model displayed significant hyperglycemia and a slight elevation in blood pressure without hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia. Recent studies identified that glucose intolerance is another risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The Hoorn Study reported increased arterial stiffness in glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes (30). The GK rat model thus serves as a good model to study the impact of moderate changes in blood glucose on cerebrovascular complications of diabetes. Our findings are significant in that even under a relatively short duration of mildly hyperglycemic conditions without the confounding effects of hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance, there were striking pathological changes in the cerebrovascular structure.

Plasma ET-1 levels are elevated in type 1 and type 2 as well as experimental diabetes (3133). In type 1 diabetes, mixed ET receptor blockade significantly reduces the mesenteric wall–to–lumen ratio and extracellular matrix deposition (7). Endothelial overexpression of human ET-1 was recently shown to significantly increase media-to-lumen ratio in murine mesenteric arteries (34). Nonselective blockade of ET receptors also prevented increased myogenic tone of cerebral vessels in diabetes, but the effect on vascular structure remained to be identified. Several studies have linked ET-1 to the regulation of MMPs. ETA receptor antagonism has been reported to decrease collagen accumulation and improve MMP-2 activity in kidneys from stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (35). We recently showed that environmental stress upregulates vascular MMP-2 activity via stimulation of ET-1 synthesis and ETA activation (15). Therefore, we investigated the regulation of cerebrovascular MMPs that can degrade collagen (MMP-1) and gelatin (MMP-2 and -9). Increased extracellular matrix protein synthesis, diminished MMP activity, and/or increased TIMP activity all could contribute to matrix accumulation, which is a late event in the vascular remodeling process (36). Interestingly, recent studies demonstrated that MMP activation also contributes to vascular smooth muscle cell growth and migration as well as increased collagen synthesis via several mechanisms. MMPs, especially MMP-9, degrade basement membrane and internal elastic lamina, disrupting the boundaries between vascular layers and facilitating vascular smooth muscle cell migration (37,38). Additionally, the breakdown of fibrillar collagen unmasks cryptic integrin signals buried in the extracellular matrix that serve as chemotactic stimuli for vascular smooth muscle cell migration (38,39). More importantly, MMPs activate membrane-bound proteins with growth-promoting properties via proteolytic cleavage (4042). For example, cleavage of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor by an MMP-dependent mechanism leads to activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor, promoting increased collagen synthesis (43). It has been demonstrated that both angiotensin-II and ET-1 enhance this transactivation process (41,43,44). In our study, we found ET-1 mediated increases in MMP-2 expression and activity. In addition, ETA receptor antagonism attenuated new collagen deposition in diabetic animals. However, it has to be recognized that with the available data, we cannot determine whether the improvement of the wall-to-lumen ratio in the ABT-627–treated GK group is a direct effect of receptor blockade or is attributable to the reduction of blood pressure in this group. It is conceivable that in the GK model, ET-1 promotes MMP-2 activation, which results in increased collagen synthesis. At the same time, ET-1 downregulates MMP-1 protein levels, promoting collagen deposition. These data provide evidence that ET-1 promotes matrix accumulation via differential regulation of MMP enzymes involved in collagen dynamics.

Our results may have postischemic relevance in addition to the possible stroke-potentiating effects of MMPs in diabetes. The blood-brain barrier exists as a physical barrier to solute transport in the brain. During cerebral ischemia, the integrity of this barrier comes under attack, leading to increased permeability of the cerebral vessels (45,46). This breakdown allows for leakage of blood into the perivascular spaces, resulting in further damage to the already ischemic tissue. Several studies have demonstrated increased MMP activity and matrix degradation after focal cerebral ischemia (4650). Our findings of increased basal MMP activity in diabetes may account for poor stroke outcomes in hyperglycemic patients.

We conclude that even mild type 2 diabetes, without the confounding effects of hyperinsulinemia and hyperlipidemia, causes significant cerebrovascular remodeling via the modulation of the MMPs that are regulated by ET-1. Altered MMP activity might contribute to increased risk of stroke in diabetes, and ETA receptor blockade may provide an effective therapeutic intervention for reducing ischemic brain damage in diabetes.

FIG. 1.

Glucose clearance. GK diabetic rats have impaired glucose tolerance. Untreated control and diabetic animals were given intravenous glucose, and blood glucose was monitored for 1 h. Diabetic animals exhibited higher maximal responses as well as impaired ability to clear glucose. *P < 0.05 vs. control.

FIG. 1.

Glucose clearance. GK diabetic rats have impaired glucose tolerance. Untreated control and diabetic animals were given intravenous glucose, and blood glucose was monitored for 1 h. Diabetic animals exhibited higher maximal responses as well as impaired ability to clear glucose. *P < 0.05 vs. control.

Close modal
FIG. 2.

Plasma and tissue ET-1 levels are increased in diabetes. A: Circulating plasma ET-1 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. B: Frozen middle cerebral artery cross-sections were immunostained with an anti–ET-1 antibody (n = 3 per group). Nonspecific staining was determined in the absence of primary antibody. *P < 0.001 vs. control.

FIG. 2.

Plasma and tissue ET-1 levels are increased in diabetes. A: Circulating plasma ET-1 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. B: Frozen middle cerebral artery cross-sections were immunostained with an anti–ET-1 antibody (n = 3 per group). Nonspecific staining was determined in the absence of primary antibody. *P < 0.001 vs. control.

Close modal
FIG. 3.

MMP-2 activity is increased in diabetes. A: Representative zymogram showing changes in vascular MMP-2 activity. Densitometric analysis of lytic bands indicates an increase in MMP-2 activity that was ameliorated by the ETA receptor blockade. B: Tissue TIMP-2 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. *P < 0.0001 vs. control; **P < 0.001 vs. GK.

FIG. 3.

MMP-2 activity is increased in diabetes. A: Representative zymogram showing changes in vascular MMP-2 activity. Densitometric analysis of lytic bands indicates an increase in MMP-2 activity that was ameliorated by the ETA receptor blockade. B: Tissue TIMP-2 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. *P < 0.0001 vs. control; **P < 0.001 vs. GK.

Close modal
FIG. 4.

MMP proteins are differentially regulated in diabetes. A: Representative immunoblot demonstrating increased MMP-2 expression in vascular homogenates, and densitometric analysis of immunoreactive bands indicates that MMP-2 protein is increased in diabetic vascular disease. B: Representative immunoblots demonstrating decreased expression of MMP-1 in diabetes. *P = 0.003 vs. control; **P = 0.034 vs. control. OD, optical density.

FIG. 4.

MMP proteins are differentially regulated in diabetes. A: Representative immunoblot demonstrating increased MMP-2 expression in vascular homogenates, and densitometric analysis of immunoreactive bands indicates that MMP-2 protein is increased in diabetic vascular disease. B: Representative immunoblots demonstrating decreased expression of MMP-1 in diabetes. *P = 0.003 vs. control; **P = 0.034 vs. control. OD, optical density.

Close modal
FIG. 5.

Vessel segments were analyzed for morphologic changes and collagen deposition by Verhoeff van Gieson elastic staining (A) and picro-polychrome staining (B). Diabetes induced a twofold increase in wall-to-lumen ratio that was significantly reduced in the ABT-627 treated GK group. Qualitative assessment of differential collagen staining by picro-polychrome staining indicates both new (red) and old (blue) collagen staining in the GK rats. ETA antagonism reduced new collagen, indicating improved collagen synthesis in the GK rats. P = 0.042.

FIG. 5.

Vessel segments were analyzed for morphologic changes and collagen deposition by Verhoeff van Gieson elastic staining (A) and picro-polychrome staining (B). Diabetes induced a twofold increase in wall-to-lumen ratio that was significantly reduced in the ABT-627 treated GK group. Qualitative assessment of differential collagen staining by picro-polychrome staining indicates both new (red) and old (blue) collagen staining in the GK rats. ETA antagonism reduced new collagen, indicating improved collagen synthesis in the GK rats. P = 0.042.

Close modal
TABLE 1

Metabolic parameters in control and GK rats

ControlControl + ABT-627GKGK + ABT-627
ET-1 0.3 ± 0.04 (20) 0.3 ± 0.07 (6) 0.8 ± 0.1 (13)* 0.5 ± 0.06 (5)* 
Glucose 108 ± 3 (17) 113 ± 4 (9) 168 ± 5 (19) 168 ± 21 (10) 
Insulin 2.3 ± 0.2 (11) 2.1 ± 0.3 (10) 1.5 ± 0.2 (13)† 0.7 ± 0.1 (5) 
Weight 563 ± 39 (15) 607 ± 11 (5) 411 ± 36 (15) 409 ± 29 (5) 
Cholesterol 121 ± 4 (11) 124 ± 7 (10) 139 ± 11 (5) 125 ± 5 (5) 
Triglycerides 39 ± 8 (11) 46 ± 6 (10) 25 ± 4 (5) 14 ± 2 (5) 
Blood pressure 104 ± 2 (3) 98 ± 5 (3)§ 121 ± 1 (3) 112 ± 1 (3)§ 
ControlControl + ABT-627GKGK + ABT-627
ET-1 0.3 ± 0.04 (20) 0.3 ± 0.07 (6) 0.8 ± 0.1 (13)* 0.5 ± 0.06 (5)* 
Glucose 108 ± 3 (17) 113 ± 4 (9) 168 ± 5 (19) 168 ± 21 (10) 
Insulin 2.3 ± 0.2 (11) 2.1 ± 0.3 (10) 1.5 ± 0.2 (13)† 0.7 ± 0.1 (5) 
Weight 563 ± 39 (15) 607 ± 11 (5) 411 ± 36 (15) 409 ± 29 (5) 
Cholesterol 121 ± 4 (11) 124 ± 7 (10) 139 ± 11 (5) 125 ± 5 (5) 
Triglycerides 39 ± 8 (11) 46 ± 6 (10) 25 ± 4 (5) 14 ± 2 (5) 
Blood pressure 104 ± 2 (3) 98 ± 5 (3)§ 121 ± 1 (3) 112 ± 1 (3)§ 

Data are the means ± SE (n).

*

P = 0.001, GK vs. control;

P = 0.0001, GK vs. control;

P = 0.04, vehicle vs. ABT-627;

§

P = 0.007, vehicle vs. ABT-627.

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (HL076236-01), an American Heart Association scientist development grant, an American Diabetes Association research grant, a Pfizer atorvastatin research award (to A.E.), and an American Heart Association southeast affiliate predoctoral fellowship award (to A.K.H.).

The authors thank Abbott Laboratories for the ABT-627 compound.

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