Human Aldose Reductase Expression Accelerates Atherosclerosis in Diabetic Apolipoprotein E−/− Mice
Objective—There are several pathways that mediate the aberrant metabolism of glucose and that might induce greater vascular damage in the setting of diabetes. The polyol pathway mediated by aldose reductase (AR) has been postulated to be one such pathway. However, it has been reported that AR reduces toxic lipid aldehydes and, under some circumstances, might be antiatherogenic.
Methods and Results—Atherosclerosis development was quantified in 2 lines of transgenic mice expressing human AR (hAR) crossed on the apolipoprotein E knockout background. The transgenes were used to increase the normally low levels of this enzyme in wild-type mice. Both generalized hAR overexpression and hAR expression via the Tie 2 promoter increased lesion size in streptozotocin diabetic mice. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of AR reduced lesion size.
Conclusion—Although in some settings AR expression might reduce levels of toxic aldehydes, transgenic expression of this enzyme within the artery wall leads to greater atherosclerosis.
- Received February 6, 2010.
- Accepted May 16, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.