We have shown that Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, a lean model of type 2 diabetes, develop significant cerebrovascular remodeling by the age of 18 weeks, which is characterized by increased media thickness and matrix deposition. Although early glycemic control prevents diabetes-mediated remodeling of the cerebrovasculature, whether the remodeling can be reversed is unknown. Given that angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers reverse pathologic vascular remodeling and function independent of changes in blood pressure in other vascular beds, we hypothesized that azilsartan medoxomil, a new angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, is vasculoprotective by preventing and reversing cerebrovascular remodeling in diabetes. Control Wistar and diabetic GK rats (n = 6-8 per group) were treated with vehicle (water) or azilsartan medoxomil (3 mg/kg/d) from the age of 14 to 18 or 18 to 22 weeks before or after vascular remodeling is established, respectively. Blood glucose and blood pressure were monitored and middle cerebral artery structure and function were evaluated using pressurized arteriography. Blood glucose was higher in GK rats compared with Wistar rats. Azilsartan treatment lowered blood glucose in diabetic animals with no effect on blood pressure. Diabetic animals exhibited lower myogenic tone, increased wall thickness, and cross-sectional area compared with control group animals, which were corrected by azilsartan treatment when started at the onset of diabetes or later after vascular remodeling is established. Azilsartan medoxomil offers preventive and therapeutic vasculoprotection in diabetes-induced cerebrovascular remodeling and myogenic dysfunction and this is independent of blood pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Biochemistry, medical
- Physiology (medical)