Human internal thoracic arteries from diabetic patients are resistant to endothelial dysfunction

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Oct;23(5):567-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2009.00707.x. Epub 2009 Jul 28.


The aim of this analysis was to compare vasoreactive properties of internal thoracic arteries (ITA) grafts from diabetic (DM) to those of non-diabetic (ND) patients. Ring segments of ITA, taken from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, were suspended in organ bath chambers filled with modified Krebs-Henseleit solution and contractile responses to potassium chloride (KCl), noradrenaline (NA), endothelin-1 (ET-l), and endothelium-dependent relaxant responses to acetylcholine (ACH) were recorded isometrically. The receptor-mediated agonists NA and ET-1 stimulated ITA from both groups within similar concentration ranges while ITA from DM patients proved to be significantly more sensitive to KCl than ITA from ND. Furthermore, maximal contractile responses indicated that KCl (3.79 +/- 0.30 g, n = 7 in DM and 2.50 +/- 0.23 g, n = 29 in ND, P < 0.05) evoked significantly higher responses in ITA from DM as compared to the ND control group while both NA and ET-l stimulated ITA from both groups with similar efficacies. Endothelium-dependent relaxant responses to ACH proved to be similar in both groups when expressed as percentages of the pre-existing tone. The present data support the contention that in comparison to ND controls arteries from DM patients are more sensitive to depolarization but endothelial dysfunction is less frequent in human ITA than expected from observations in systemic vascular beds.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / enzymology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mammary Arteries / enzymology
  • Mammary Arteries / metabolism
  • Mammary Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / enzymology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Calcium