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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 24353-24368;

Molecular Pathways Regulating Macrovascular Pathology and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Phenotype in Type 2 Diabetes

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, Institute of Anatomic Pathology, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Rome 00133, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Toshiro Arai
Received: 5 August 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Obesity and Diabetes)
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a disease reaching a pandemic proportion in developed countries and a major risk factor for almost all cardiovascular diseases and their adverse clinical manifestations. T2DM leads to several macrovascular and microvascular alterations that influence the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are fundamental players in macrovascular alterations of T2DM patients. VSMCs display phenotypic and functional alterations that reflect an altered intracellular biomolecular scenario of great vessels of T2DM patients. Hyperglycemia itself and through intraparietal accumulation of advanced glycation-end products (AGEs) activate different pathways, in particular nuclear factor-κB and MAPKs, while insulin and insulin growth-factor receptors (IGFR) are implicated in the activation of Akt and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2. Nuclear factor-κB is also responsible of increased susceptibility of VSMCs to pro-apoptotic stimuli. Down-regulation of insulin growth-factor 1 receptors (IGFR-1R) activity in diabetic vessels also influences negatively miR-133a levels, so increasing apoptotic susceptibility of VSMCs. Alterations of those bimolecular pathways and related genes associate to the prevalence of a synthetic phenotype of VSMCs induces extracellular matrix alterations of great vessels. A better knowledge of those biomolecular pathways and related genes in VSMCs will help to understand the mechanisms leading to macrovascular alterations in T2DM patients and to suggest new targeted therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: diabetes; atherosclerosis; phenotypic changes; apoptosis; nuclear factor-κB; Akt diabetes; atherosclerosis; phenotypic changes; apoptosis; nuclear factor-κB; Akt

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Casella, S.; Bielli, A.; Mauriello, A.; Orlandi, A. Molecular Pathways Regulating Macrovascular Pathology and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Phenotype in Type 2 Diabetes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 24353-24368.

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