Dual endothelin receptor antagonism with bosentan reverses established vascular remodeling and dysfunctional angiogenesis in diabetic rats: Relevance to glycemic control

Mohammed Abdelsaid, Jessica Kaczmarek, Maha Coucha, Adviye Ergul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Aims We have shown that diabetes causes cerebrovascular remodeling in part by the activation of the endothelin (ET-1) system in a glucose-dependent manner. We also reported increased yet dysfunctional cerebral angiogenesis in diabetes. Here, we tested the hypothesis that dual ET-1 receptor antagonism or glycemic control can reverse already established diabetes-induced vascular remodeling and neovascularization. Main methods 18-week non-obese type-2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) were treated with vehicle, metformin (300 mg/kg/day) or bosentan (100 mg/kg/day) for 4 weeks by oral gavage and compared to 10 and 18-weeks GK rats. Isolated middle cerebral artery (MCA) lumen diameter (LD), media thickness (MT), media:lumen (M:L) ratio, and cross-sectional area (CSA) were measured using pressurized arteriograph. Assessment of remodeling and angiogenesis in the brain parenchyma was achieved by three-dimensional reconstruction of fluorescently labeled images of the vasculature acquired by confocal microscopy, and measurement of neovascularization indices including vascular volume and surface area, branch density and tortuosity. Key findings MCA remodeling (increased M:L ratio and CSA, but decreased LD) occurred by 18 weeks and did not progress by 22 weeks in diabetic GK rats. Metformin and bosentan partially corrected large artery remodeling. Both treatments significantly reduced all indices of neovascularization compared to untreated diabetic rats. Significance Glycemic control or ET-1 antagonism can partially reverse diabetes-induced cerebrovascular remodeling and neovascularization. These results strongly suggest that either approach offers a therapeutic benefit and combination treatments need to be tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalLife sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 24 2014



  • Bosentan
  • Diabetes
  • Endothelin
  • Metformin
  • Neovascularization
  • Vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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