The Effect of an Atherogenic Diet and Acute Hyperglycaemia on Endothelial Function in Rabbits Is Artery Specific

Nutrients. 2020 Jul 16;12(7):2108. doi: 10.3390/nu12072108.


Hyperglycaemia has a toxic effect on blood vessels and promotes coronary artery disease. It is unclear whether the dysfunction caused by hyperglycaemia is blood vessel specific and whether the dysfunction is exacerbated following an atherogenic diet. Abdominal aorta, iliac, and mesenteric arteries were dissected from New Zealand White rabbits following either a 4-week normal or atherogenic diet (n = 6-12 per group). The arteries were incubated ex vivo in control or high glucose solution (20 mM or 40 mM) for 2 h. Isometric tension myography was used to determine endothelial-dependent vasodilation. The atherogenic diet reduced relaxation as measured by area under the curve (AUC) by 25% (p < 0.05), 17% (p = 0.06) and 40% (p = 0.07) in the aorta, iliac, and mesenteric arteries, respectively. In the aorta from the atherogenic diet fed rabbits, the 20 mM glucose altered EC50 (p < 0.05). Incubation of the iliac artery from atherogenic diet fed rabbits in 40 mM glucose altered EC50 (p < 0.05). No dysfunction occurred in the mesentery with high glucose incubation following either the normal or atherogenic diet. High glucose induced endothelial dysfunction appears to be blood vessel specific and the aorta may be the optimal artery to study potential therapeutic treatments of hyperglycaemia induced endothelial dysfunction.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; diabetes; immunohistochemistry; nitrative stress; nitric oxide.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Arteries*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diet, Atherogenic / adverse effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Glucose / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Rabbits


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Glucose