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Diabetes mellitus activates signal transduction pathways resulting in vascular endothelial growth factor resistance of human monocytes. Tchaikovski Vadim,Olieslagers Servé,Böhmer Frank-D,Waltenberger Johannes Circulation BACKGROUND:Monocytes are cellular components of wound repair, arteriogenesis, and atherogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and placental growth factor recruit monocytes to sites of arteriogenesis via stimulation of VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1). The chemotactic response of monocytes to VEGF-A is attenuated in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). This VEGF resistance correlates with impaired collateral growth. The aim of this study is to elucidate the molecular basis of VEGF resistance and impaired monocyte response in DM. METHODS AND RESULTS:Phosphorylation of Akt, p38, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) could be stimulated with either placental growth factor-1 or VEGF-A in monocytes from non-DM but not DM individuals. In contrast, formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine caused a comparable activation of these molecules in both DM and non-DM monocytes. Baseline phosphorylation of Akt, p38, and ERK1/2 was significantly elevated in monocytes from DM compared with non-DM subjects. Of note, H(2)O(2) activated Akt, p38, and ERK1/2 in non-DM monocytes ex vivo. Protein tyrosine phosphatases had stronger oxidative modifications in monocytes from DM than from non-DM individuals, which reflects functional protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibition, similar to that seen after H(2)O(2) challenge. Overall, protein tyrosine phosphatase and protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B activity were reduced in DM monocytes. DM monocytes revealed higher expression of the receptor for advanced glycation end products. Stimulation with advanced glycation end products ligands resulted in activation of non-DM monocytes and inhibition of VEGFR-1-mediated chemotaxis. The elevated baseline phosphorylation/activation of Akt, p38, and ERK1/2 in DM monocytes likely causes the resistance to further stimulation with specific stimuli such as VEGF-A, revealing a molecular explanation of the DM-related signal transduction defect. CONCLUSIONS:We propose that elevated advanced glycation end products expression and increased oxidative stress in diabetic monocytes lead to activation of VEGFR-1-related signaling pathways and to desensitization of VEGFR-1 responses. These data establish VEGF resistance as a novel molecular concept for DM-related cellular dysfunction. 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.817528
p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase downregulates endothelial progenitor cells. Seeger Florian H,Haendeler Judith,Walter Dirk H,Rochwalsky Ulrich,Reinhold Johannes,Urbich Carmen,Rössig Lothar,Corbaz Anne,Chvatchko Yolande,Zeiher Andreas M,Dimmeler Stefanie Circulation BACKGROUND:Transplantation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) improves neovascularization after ischemia, but patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) or diabetes mellitus show a reduced number of EPCs and impaired functional activity. Therefore, we investigated the effects of risk factors, such as glucose and TNF-alpha, on the number of EPCs in vitro to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. METHODS AND RESULTS:EPCs of patients or healthy subjects were isolated from peripheral blood. Incubation with glucose or TNF-alpha dose-dependently reduced the number of EPCs (79.9+/-1.3% and 74.3+/-8.1% of control; P<0.05, respectively). This reduction was not caused by apoptosis. TNF-alpha and glucose induced a dose- and time-dependent activation of the p38 MAP kinase, the downstream kinase mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1, and the transcription factor cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB), in EPCs. Moreover, EPCs from CAD patients had significantly higher basal p38-phosphorylation levels (1.83+/-0.2-fold increase; P<0.05) compared with healthy subjects. The inhibition of the p38-kinase by SB203580 or infection with a dominant negative p38 kinase adenovirus significantly increased basal number of EPCs (136.7+/-6.3% and 142.9+/-18% versus control, respectively). Likewise, ex vivo cultivation of EPCs from patients with CAD with SB203580 significantly increased the number of EPCs and partially reversed the impaired capacity for neovascularization of EPCs in vivo (relative blood flow: 0.40+/-0.03 versus 0.64+/-0.08, P<0.05). The increased numbers of EPCs by SB203580 were associated with an augmentation of EPC proliferation and a reduction of cells expressing the monocytic marker proteins CD14 and CD64, suggesting that p38 regulates proliferation and differentiation events. CONCLUSIONS:These results demonstrate that p38 MAP kinase plays a pivotal role in the signal transduction pathways regulating the number of EPCs ex vivo. SB203580 can prevent the negative effects of TNF-alpha and glucose on the number of EPCs and may be useful to improve the number of EPCs for potential cell therapy. 10.1161/01.CIR.0000157156.85397.A1