Original Article

Resveratrol rescues hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction via activation of Akt

Jin-yi LI, Wei-qiang HUANG, Rong-hui TU, Guo-qiang ZHONG, Bei-bei LUO, Yan HE
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2016.109


Resveratrol (RSV), a phytoalexin, has shown to prevent endothelial dysfunction and reduce diabetic vascular complications and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the signaling mechanisms underlying the protecting effects of RSV against endothelial dysfunction during hyperglycemia in vitro and in vivo. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with RSV, and then exposed to high glucose (HG, 30 mmol/L). Akt-Ser473 phosphorylation, eNOS-Ser1177 phosphorylation, and PTEN protein levels in the cells were detected using Western blot. For in vivo studies, WT and Akt–/– mice were fed a normal diet containing RSV (400 mg·kg-1·d-1) for 2 weeks, then followed by injection of STZ to induce hyperglycemia (300 mg/dL). Endothelial function was evaluated using aortic rings by assessing ACh-induced vasorelaxation. RSV (5–20 μmol/L) dose-dependently increased Akt-Ser473 phosphorylation, accompanied by increased eNOS-Ser1177 phosphorylation in HUVECs; these effects were more prominent under HG stimulation. Transfection with Akt siRNA abolished RSV-enhanced eNOS phosphorylation and NO release. Furthermore, RSV (5–20 μmol/L) dose-dependently decreased the levels of PTEN, which was significantly increased under HG stimulation, and PTEN overexpression abolished RSV-stimulated Akt phosphorylation in HG-treated HUVECs. Moreover, RSV dramatically increased 26S proteasome activity, which induced degradation of PTEN. In in vivo studies, pretreatment with RSV significantly increased Akt and eNOS phosphorylation in aortic tissues and ACh-induced vasorelaxation, and improved diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction in wild-type mice but not in Akt–/– mice. RSV attenuates endothelial function during hyperglycemia via activating proteasome-dependent degradation of PTEN, which increases Akt phosphorylation, and consequentially upregulation of eNOS-derived NO production.
Keywords: resveratrol; diabetes; endothelial dysfunction; PTEN; 26S proteasome; Akt; eNOS; NO

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