Mesenteric arterial dysfunction in the UC Davis Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus rat model is dependent on pre-diabetic versus diabetic status and is sexually dimorphic

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European Journal of Pharmacology







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Previous reports suggest that diabetes may differentially affect the vascular beds of females and males. However, there is insufficient evidence to establish the timeline of the vascular dysfunction in diabetes, specifically in relation to sex. Here, we determined whether mesenteric arterial function is altered in UC Davis Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (UCD-T2DM) rats and if this occurs as early as the pre-diabetic stage of the disease. Specifically, we investigated whether vascular dysfunction differs between pre-diabetic or diabetic status and if this varies by sex. We measured the responses to endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxant as well as vasoconstrictor agents and explored the potential mechanisms involved in sex-specific development of arterial dysfunction in UCD-T2DM rats. In addition, indices of insulin sensitivity were assessed. We report the reduced insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic males and diabetic females. Vascular relaxation to acetylcholine was impaired to a greater extent in mesenteric artery from males in the pre-diabetic stage than in their female counterparts. In contrast, the arteries from females with diabetes exhibited a greater impairment to acetylcholine compared with diabetic males. Additionally, the sensitivity of mesenteric artery to contractile agents in females, but not in males, after the onset of diabetes was increased. Our data suggest that the reduced insulin sensitivity through AKT may predispose vessels to injury in the pre-diabetic stage in males. On the other hand, reduced insulin sensitivity as well as enhanced responsiveness to contractile agents may predispose arteries to injury in the diabetic stage in females.