Detailed evaluation of coronary function early in diabetes mellitus (DM)-associated coronary artery disease (CAD) development is difficult in patients. Therefore, we investigated coronary conduit and small artery function in a preatherosclerotic DM porcine model with type 2 characteristics. Streptozotocin-induced DM pigs on a saturated fat/cholesterol (SFC) diet (SFC + DM) were compared with control pigs on SFC and standard (control) diets. SFC + DM pigs showed DM-associated metabolic alterations and early atherosclerosis development in the aorta. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation to bradykinin (BK), with or without blockade of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, endothelium-independent vasodilation to an exogenous NO-donor (S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine), and vasoconstriction to endothelin (ET)-1 with blockade of receptor subtypes, were assessed in vitro. Small coronary arteries, but not conduit vessels, showed functional alterations including impaired BK-induced vasodilatation due to loss of NO (P < 0.01 vs. SFC and control) and reduced vasoconstriction to ET-1 (P < 0.01 vs. SFC and control), due to a decreased ETa receptor dominance. Other vasomotor responses were unaltered. In conclusion, this model demonstrates specific coronary microvascular alterations with regard to NO and ET-1 systems in the process of early atherosclerosis in DM. In particular, the altered ET-1 system correlated with hyperglycemia in atherogenic conditions, emphasizing the importance of this system in DM-associated CAD development.

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American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Heuvel, M., Sorop, O., Koopmans, S., Dekker, R., de Vries, R., van Beusekom, H., … van der Giessen, W. (2012). Coronary microvascular dysfunction in a porcine model of early atherosclerosis and diabetes. American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 302(1). doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00311.2011