We previously reported enhanced cerebrovascular remodeling and arteriogenesis in experimental type 2 diabetes. This study tested the hypotheses that 1) cerebral but not peripheral angiogenesis is increased in a spatial manner and 2) peroxynitrite orchestrates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated brain angiogenesis in diabetes. Stereology of brain, eye, and skeletal muscle microvasculature was evaluated in control and diabetic rats using three-dimensional images. Migration and tube formation properties of brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) were analyzed as markers of angiogenesis. Vascular density, volume, and surface area were progressively increased from rostral to caudal sections in both the cerebral cortex and striatum in diabetic rats. Unperfused new vessels were more prominent and the pericyte-to-endothelial cell ratio was decreased in diabetes. Vascularization was greater in the retina but lower in the peripheral circulation. VEGF and nitrotyrosine levels were higher in cerebral microvessels of diabetic animals. Migratory and tube formation properties were enhanced in BMECs from diabetic rats, which also expressed high levels of basal VEGF, nitrotyrosine, and membrane-type (MT1) matrix metalloprotease (MMP). VEGF-neutralizing antibody and inhibitors of peroxynitrite, src kinase, or MMP blocked the migration. Diabetes increases and spatially regulates cerebral neovascularization. Increased VEGF-dependent angiogenic function in BMECs is mediated by peroxynitrite and involves c-src and MT1-MMP activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism