Decreased cardiac expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and redox imbalance in murine diabetic cardiomyopathy

Bing Han, Reshma Baliga, Hong Huang, Peter J. Giannone, John Anthony Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Type 1 diabetes is associated with a unique form of cardiomyopathy that is present without atherosclerosis. Redox imbalance and/or changes in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression have been associated with diabetesrelated cardiomyopathy. However, the mechanisms of these changes and their interrelationships remain unclear. Using a murine type 1 diabetes model, we tested the hypothesis that alterations in cardiac performance are associated with decreased cardiac microvascular prevalence, as well as downregulation of VEGF isoforms. We also investigated oxidative stress as a contributor to regulate individual VEGF isoforms and microvascular rarefaction. Significant and rapid hyperglycemia was observed at 1 wk post-streptozotocin (STZ) and persisted throughout the 5-wk study. Left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening was reduced at week 1 and 5 post-STZ insult relative to age-matched controls. We also observed the early reduction in E/A ratio at 1 wk. Immunostaining for CD31 and digital image analysis demonstrated a 35% reduction in microvessels/myocardial area, indicative of rarefaction, which was highly correlated with fractional shortening. Furthermore, a significant increase in the prevalence of protein 3-nitrotyrosine was observed in the diabetic cardiac tissue, which was inversely associated with microvascular rarefaction. The expressions of three VEGF isoforms were significantly reduced to different extents. The reduction of VEGF 164 was associated with GSSG accumulation. These data demonstrate that the mouse model of STZ-induced diabetes has hallmark features observed in humans with respect to nonischemic systolic and diastolic performance and microvascular rarefaction, which are associated with changes in VEGF isoform expression and redox imbalance in the myocardium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H829-H835
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Microvascular density
  • Oxidants
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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