Obesity-induced vascular dysfunction and arterial stiffening requires endothelial cell arginase 1.

Research paper by Anil A Bhatta, Lin L Yao, Zhimin Z Xu, Haroldo A HA Toque, Jijun J Chen, Reem T RT Atawia, Abdelrahman Y AY Fouda, Zsolt Z Bagi, Rudolf R Lucas, Ruth B RB Caldwell, Robert W RW Caldwell

Indexed on: 20 Oct '17Published on: 20 Oct '17Published in: Cardiovascular research


Elevation of arginase activity has been linked to vascular dysfunction in diabetes and hypertension by a mechanism involving decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability due to L-arginine depletion. Excessive arginase activity also can drive L-arginine metabolism towards the production of ornithine, polyamines, and proline, promoting proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and collagen formation, leading to perivascular fibrosis. We hypothesized that there is a specific involvement of arginase 1 expression within the vascular endothelial cells in this pathology.To test this proposition, we used models of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Studies were performed using wild type (WT), endothelial-specific arginase 1 knockout (EC-A1-/-) and littermate controls(A1con) mice fed high fat-high sucrose (HFHS) or normal diet (ND) for 6 months and isolated vessels exposed to palmitate-high glucose (PA/HG) media. Some WT mice or isolated vessels were treated with an arginase inhibitor, ABH [2-(S)-amino-6-boronohexanoic acid. In WT mice, the HFHS diet promoted increases in body weight, fasting blood glucose, and post-prandial insulin levels along with arterial stiffening and fibrosis, elevated blood pressure, decreased plasma levels of L-arginine, and elevated L-ornithine. The HFHS diet or PA/HG treatment also induced increases in vascular arginase activity along with oxidative stress, reduced vascular NO levels, and impaired endothelial-dependent vasorelaxation. All of these effects except obesity and hypercholesterolemia were prevented or significantly reduced by endothelial-specific deletion of arginase 1 or ABH treatment.Vascular dysfunctions in diet-induced obesity are prevented by deletion of arginase 1 in vascular endothelial cells or arginase inhibition. These findings indicate that upregulation of arginase 1 expression/activity in vascular endothelial cells has an integral role in diet-induced cardiovascular dysfunction and metabolic syndrome.

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