Background and Aims
: Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an emerging problem worldwide due to an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Animal studies have indicated that metformin and pioglitazone can prevent DCM partly by normalizing insulin resistance, and partly by other, pleiotropic mechanisms. One clinical study has evidenced the insulin-senzitizing effect of the drug candidate BGP-15, along with additional animal studies that have confirmed its beneficial effects in models of diabetes, muscular dystrophy and heart failure, with the drug affecting chaperones, contractile proteins and mitochondria. Our aim was to investigate whether the inzulin-senzitizer BGP-15 exert any additive cardiovascular effects compared to metformin or pioglitazone, using Goto-Kakizaki (GotoK) rats. Methods
: Rats were divided into five groups: (I) healthy control (Wistar), (II) diseased (GotoK), and GotoK rats treated with: (III) BGP-15, (IV) metformin, and (V) pioglitazone, respectively, for 12 weeks. Metabolic parameters and insulin levels were determined at the endpoint. Doppler echocardiography was carried out to estimate diabetes-associated cardiac dysfunction. Thoracotomy was performed after the vascular status of rats was evaluated using an isolated aortic ring method. Furthermore, western blot assays were carried out to determine expression or phosphorylation levels of selected proteins that take part in myocyte relaxation. Results
: BGP-15 restored diastolic parameters (e′/a′, E/e′, LAP, E and A wave) and improved Tei-index compared to untreated GotoK rats. Vascular status was unaffected by BGP-15. Expression of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+
-ATPase (SERCA2a) and phosphodiesterase 9A (PDE9A) were unchanged by the treatments, but the phosphorylation level of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) and phospholamban (PLB) increased in BGP-15-treated rats, in comparison to GotoK. Conclusions
: Even though the BGP-15-treatment did not interfere significantly with glucose homeostasis and vascular status, it considerably enhanced diastolic function, by affecting the SERCA/phospholamban pathway in GotoK rats. Although it requires further investigation, BGP-15 may offer a new therapeutic approach in DCM.
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