We have reported that plasma adrenomedullin (AM) in hyperglycemic patients was significantly increased compared with normal volunteers. In this report we examined the effects of hyperglycemia on AM expression in the vasculature, the main site of AM production. AM mRNA level in the aorta was higher in the diabetic rats than in the control rats. AM mRNA level and protein kinase C (PKC) activity in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) increased as the glucose concentration in the medium changed from 100mg/dl to 450mg/dl. PKC inhibitors blocked this increase of AM mRNA. Similar osmotic change with mannitol had no effect on AM expression. We conclude that (1) hyperglycemia increases vascular AM expression through PKC-dependent pathway, and (2) the elevated plasma AM in hyperglycemic patients originates from the glucose induced vascular AM expression. We propose the possible role of AM in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complications.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.