Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are key players in the development of atherosclerosis and its complications. A large body of evidence suggest that metabolic abnormalities cause overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In turn, ROS, via endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, play a major role in precipitating diabetic vascular disease. A better understanding of ROS-generating pathways may provide the basis to develop novel therapeutic strategies against vascular complications in this setting. Part I of this review will focus on the most current advances in the pathophysiological mechanisms of vascular disease: (i) emerging role of endothelium in obesity-induced insulin resistance; (ii) hyperglycemia-dependent microRNAs deregulation and impairment of vascular repair capacities; (iii) alterations of coagulation, platelet reactivity, and microparticle release; (iv) epigenetic-driven transcription of ROS-generating and proinflammatory genes. Taken together these novel insights point to the development of mechanism-based therapeutic strategies as a promising option to prevent cardiovascular complications in diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Pathophysiology; Vascular disease.