Abstract 209: Dimethylarginine Dimethylaminohydrolase 1 and Insulin Resistance
Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent metabolic condition and is the result of an impaired response to insulin. Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are clearly associated with obesity and the secondary cardiovascular complications of this condition are serious and life threatening.
Asymemetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthases and increased levels are seen in multiple pathologies. Increased plasma levels of ADMA have been associated with patients with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity, although a causal link between ADMA and diabetes has not been established. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is the enzyme that catalyses the metabolism of ADMA. There are two isoforms of the enzyme which are both involved in the control of ADMA and NO.
The interplay of insulin with NO release is well established but the initial causes for the onset of insulin resistance are not well defined. Elevated levels of ADMA are linked to insulin resistance and transgenic mice that over-express ddah1 show increased insulin sensitivity. Of note is that metformin, an insulin sensitising drug that is widely used in the treatment of insulin resistance, reduces plasma glucose and ADMA concentrations.
In order to elucidate the physiological role of DDAH1 in glucose homeostasis we investigated the glucose handling in a ddah1 global knockout model.
Intra-peritoneal glucose tolerance tests in ddah1 global knockout mice demonstrate insulin resistance. Baseline plasma glucose levels were 25% higher in ddah1 knockouts and peak levels were 53% higher in ddah1 knockouts. The kinetics of plasma glucose accumulation and clearance in ddah1 knockout mice suggests dysfunction in both the liver and skeletal muscle. On a normal chow diet, hepatocyte specific ddah1 knockout mice and skeletal muscle specific ddah1 knockout mice show no insulin resistance. On a high fat diet however the hepatocyte specific ddah1 knockout mice show significant insulin resistance and lower metabolic rate than their fat fed wild-type counterparts.
These studies demonstrate for the first time a causal link between ADMA accumulation and insulin resistance. Furthermore these data establish DDAH1 activity is a significant regulator of insulin resistance.
Author Disclosures: S.E. Piper: None. J.M. Leiper: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.