Pharmacological inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase provides cardioprotection in hyperglycemic rats

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Oct 1;303(7):H853-62. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00154.2012. Epub 2012 Aug 3.


Glycemic regulation improves myocardial function in diabetic patients, but finding optimal therapeutic strategies remains challenging. Recent data have shown that pharmacological inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), an enzyme that decreases the endogenous levels of protective epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), improves glucose homeostasis in insulin-resistant mice. Here, we tested whether the administration of sEH inhibitors preserves cardiac myocyte structure and function in hyperglycemic rats. University of California-Davis-type 2 diabetes mellitus (UCD-T2DM) rats with nonfasting blood glucose levels in the range of 150-200 mg/dl were treated with the sEH inhibitor 1-(1-acetypiperidin-4-yl)-3-adamantanylurea (APAU) for 6 wk. Administration of APAU attenuated the progressive increase of blood glucose concentration and preserved mitochondrial structure and myofibril morphology in cardiac myocytes, as revealed by electron microscopy imaging. Fluorescence microscopy with Ca(2+) indicators also showed a 40% improvement of cardiac Ca(2+) transients in treated rats. Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) content was decreased in both treated and untreated rats compared with control rats. However, treatment limited this reduction by 30%, suggesting that APAU may protect the intracellular Ca(2+) effector system. Using Western blot analysis on cardiac myocyte lysates, we found less downregulation of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA), the main route of Ca(2+) reuptake in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and lower expression of hypertrophic markers in treated versus untreated UCD-T2DM rats. In conclusion, APAU enhances the therapeutic effects of EETs, resulting in slower progression of hyperglycemia, efficient protection of myocyte structure, and reduced Ca(2+) dysregulation and SERCA remodeling in hyperglycemic rats. The results suggest that sEH/EETs may be an effective therapeutic target for cardioprotection in insulin resistance and diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adamantane / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adamantane / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Diabetes Complications / blood
  • Diabetes Complications / enzymology
  • Diabetes Complications / etiology
  • Diabetes Complications / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Heart Diseases / blood
  • Heart Diseases / enzymology
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitochondria, Heart / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / enzymology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / ultrastructure
  • Myofibrils / drug effects
  • Myofibrils / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Zucker
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / pharmacology


  • 1-(1-acetyl-piperidine-4-yl)-3-adamantan-1-yl-urea
  • Blood Glucose
  • Eicosanoids
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Urea
  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • EPHX2 protein, rat
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Adamantane