The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and the angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) have been separately linked to the pathogenesis of diabetic atherosclerosis. However, no prior study has addressed a linkage between RAGE and AT1R in diabetic atherogenesis. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that upregulation of the ligand-RAGE axis via AT1R is an essential process underlying the disease. Diabetes was induced in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-/-) mice by streptozotocin, and diabetic mice were treated with AT1 receptor blocker (ARB) for 6 weeks. Diabetic ApoE-/- mice that were AT1R-deficient (ApoE-/-AT1aR-/-) were also investigated. In diabetic ApoE-/- mice, AT1R was found to increase within 1 week of diabetes induction, before ligand-RAGE pathway activation and other inflammatory changes were observed. Both ARB treatment and AT1aR deficiency suppressed diabetic atherosclerosis, ligand-RAGE expression and inflammatory changes. In contrast, upregulation of the ligand-RAGE pathway was noted in atherosclerotic plaques from non-diabetic ApoE-/- mice infused with angiotensin II. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, angiotensin II increased RAGE protein levels via AT1R stimulation. Upregulation of the ligand-RAGE pathway via AT1R is an essential mechanism in diabetic atherosclerosis, implying that ARB might decrease diabetic atherogenesis by inhibiting ligand-RAGE signals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine