The balance of nitric oxide (NO) versus superoxide generation has a major role in the initiation and progression of endothelial dysfunction. Under conditions of high glucose, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) functions as a chief source of superoxide rather than NO. In order to improve NO bioavailability within the vessel wall in type-1 diabetes, we investigated treatment strategies that improve eNOS phosphorylation and NO-dependent vasorelaxation. We evaluated methods to increase the eNOS activity by (1) feeding Ins2 Akita spontaneously diabetic (type-1) mice with l-arginine in the presence of sepiapterin, a precursor of tetrahydrobiopterin; (2) preventing eNOS/NO deregulation by the inclusion of inhibitor kappa B kinase beta (IKKβ) inhibitor, salsalate, in the diet regimen in combination with l-arginine and sepiapterin; and (3) independently increasing eNOS expression to improve eNOS activity and associated NO production through generating Ins2 Akita diabetic mice that overexpress human eNOS predominantly in vascular endothelial cells. Our results clearly demonstrated that diet supplementation with l-arginine, sepiapterin along with salsalate improved phosphorylation of eNOS and enhanced vasorelaxation of thoracic/abdominal aorta in type-1 diabetic mice. More interestingly, despite the overexpression of eNOS, the in-house generated transgenic eNOS-GFP (TgeNOS-GFP)-Ins2 Akita cross mice showed an unanticipated effect of reduced eNOS phosphorylation and enhanced superoxide production. Our results demonstrate that enhancement of endogenous eNOS activity by nutritional modulation is more beneficial than increasing the endogenous expression of eNOS by gene therapy modalities.

doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.2015.96, hdl.handle.net/1765/87559
Laboratory Investigation
Biophysical Genomics, Department Cell Biology & Genetics

Krishnan, M, Janardhanan, P, Roman, L, Reddick, R.L, Natarajan, M, van Haperen, M.J, … Mohan, S. (2015). Enhancing eNOS activity with simultaneous inhibition of IKKβ restores vascular function in Ins2Akita+/- type-1 diabetic mice. Laboratory Investigation, 95(10), 1092–1104. doi:10.1038/labinvest.2015.96