Diabetes notably increases the risk for endothelial dysfunction, a main precursor for microvascular complications. While endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) have been associated with endothelial dysfunction in resistance vessels, whether these mechanisms also contribute to diabetes-mediated endothelial dysfunction in conduit arteries remains unknown. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that diabetes induces macrovascular endothelial dysfunction via endothelial ERS-induced, PTP1B-mediated apoptosis. We showed that diabetes concomitantly increased the expression of PTP1B and of markers of ERS, including GRP78, XBP1, splXBP1 and CHOP in human vessels. Exposure of aortic rings from wild-type mice to the ERS inducers tunicamycin and thapsigargin markedly reduced endothelium-dependent relaxation. Global and endothelial-specific deletion of PTP1B as well as pharmacological inhibition protected aortic rings from ERS-mediated endothelial dysfunction. Nitric oxide synthase inhibition with L-NAME abolished relaxation in the presence and absence of ERS, but neither reactive oxygen species scavenging with tempol or peg-catalase, nor cyclooxygenase inhibition with indomethacin prevented ERS-mediated endothelial dysfunction. However, both p38-MAPK and JNK inhibition protected aortic rings from ERS-mediated endothelial dysfunction. In HUVECs, PTP1B deletion prevented ERS-induced PARP cleavage and apoptosis. Lastly, acute ERS inhibition in aortic rings and selective deficiency of endothelial PTP1B in mice protected mice from diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction. Altogether, these data support the contribution of the p38/JNK-apoptosis pathway in ERS-mediated endothelial dysfunction and present endothelial PTP1B as a major regulator of endothelial cell viability in conduit vessels and a potential target for the management of macrovascular diseases in diabetes.
- Endoplasmic reticulum stress
- Endothelial function
- Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B
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