Thiamine (Vitamin B1) protects against glucose- and insulin-mediated proliferation of human infragenicular arterial smooth muscle cells

Ann Vasc Surg. 2000 Jan;14(1):37-43. doi: 10.1007/s100169910007.


Accelerated proliferation of arterial smooth muscle cells (ASMC) plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, which preferentially affects the infragenicular vasculature in patients with diabetes mellitus. High insulin and glucose levels, which are present in patients with type II diabetes, have an additive effect in infragenicular ASMC proliferation in vitro. Thiamine is a coenzyme important in intracellular glucose metabolism. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of thiamine on human infragenicular ASMC proliferation induced by high glucose and insulin levels in vitro. Human infragenicular ASMC isolated from diabetic patients undergoing lower extremity amputation were used. Cells were cultured at 37 degrees C in 5% CO(2). Cells were identified as ASMC by immunohistochemical analysis. Cells from passages 3-5 were exposed to glucose concentrations of 0.1 and 0.2% with and without insulin concentrations of 100 ng/mL and 1000 ng/mL, in the presence or absence of 200 microM of thiamine. Standard hemocytometry and (3)H-thymidine incorporation quantified cell proliferation after incubation for 6 days and 24 hr, respectively. The data suggest that thiamine inhibits human infragenicular ASMC proliferation induced by high glucose and insulin. Vitamin B1 intake may prove important in delaying the atherosclerotic complications of diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology*
  • Thiamine / pharmacology*


  • Insulin
  • DNA
  • Glucose
  • Thiamine