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Travis W. Hein, Luke B. Potts, Wenjuan Xu, Josh Z. Yuen, Lih Kuo; Temporal Development of Retinal Arteriolar Endothelial Dysfunction in Porcine Type 1 Diabetes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(13):7943-7949. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.12-11005.
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Although hyperglycemia is implicated in retinal vascular dysfunction associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy, the temporal influence of hyperglycemia on retinal arteriolar reactivity remains unclear. Development of a large animal model of diabetes relevant to the human retina for evaluation of vascular function is also lacking. Herein, we examined nitric oxide (NO)-mediated dilation and endothelin-1 (ET-1)-induced constriction in retinal arterioles at various time periods in a porcine model of type 1 diabetes.
Retinal arterioles were isolated from streptozocin-induced diabetic pigs (2, 6, and 12 weeks of hyperglycemia, 427 ± 23 mg/dL) and age-matched control pigs (73 ± 4 mg/dL), and then cannulated and pressurized for vasoreactivity study using videomicroscopic techniques.
Retinal arterioles isolated from control and diabetic pigs developed comparable levels of myogenic tone. The endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilations to bradykinin and stepwise increases in luminal flow were significantly reduced within 2 weeks of hyperglycemia. The inhibitory effect was comparable following 6 and 12 weeks of hyperglycemia. However, the endothelium-independent vasodilation to sodium nitroprusside was unaffected. Constriction of retinal arterioles to ET-1 was unaltered at all time periods of hyperglycemia.
Our findings provide the first direct evidence for selective impairment of endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles within 2 weeks of hyperglycemia in a pig model of diabetes. By contrast, the ability of arteriolar smooth muscle to dilate to NO donor or contract to ET-1 was unaffected throughout the study period. This endothelial vasodilator dysfunction during early diabetes may contribute to development of retinopathy with chronic hyperglycemia.
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