Ex vivo gene transferring of human dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-2 improved endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rat aortas and high glucose-treated endothelial cells



      Elevated level of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an independent risk factor for endothelial dysfunction. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is the key enzyme responsible for the degradation of endogenous ADMA. The purposes of this study were to determine whether suppressed DDAH2 expression would implicate in endothelial dysfunction associated with diabetes mellitus and further to investigate whether adenovirus-mediated DDAH2 gene overexpression could improve the hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction.


      Diabetic model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin to male Sprague–Dawley rats. Recombinant adenoviral vector encoding human DDAH2 gene driven by a cytomegalovirus promoter was constructed to overexpress hDDAH2 gene in isolated rat aortas and endothelial cells. Changes in DDHA/ADMA/nitric oxide (NO) pathway in diabetic rats and high glucose-treated endothelial cells were examined.


      DDAH2 expression was distinctly suppressed, which was accompanied by inhibited DDAH activity and impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in aortas, and elevated ADMA concentrations in serum of diabetic rats compared to control rats. Suppressions of DDAH2 expression and DDAH activity, accumulation of ADMA, and inhibition of NO synthesis were observed in high glucose-treated endothelial cells. DDAH2 overexpression not only improved endothelial dysfunction in diabetic aortas but also attenuated hyperglycemia-induced changes in DDAH/ADMA//NO pathway in endothelial cells.


      These results indicate that suppression of DDAH2 expression contributes to hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction, which can be improved by DDAH2 overexpression. This study suggests that targeted modulation of DDAH2 gene in vascular endothelium may be a novel approach for the treatment of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.


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