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Effect of sulodexide on endothelial glycocalyx and vascular permeability in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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      Endothelial glycocalyx perturbation contributes to increased vascular permeability. In the present study we set out to evaluate whether: (1) glycocalyx is perturbed in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and (2) oral glycocalyx precursor treatment improves glycocalyx properties.


      Male participants with type 2 diabetes ( n = 10) and controls ( n = 10) were evaluated before and after 2 months of sulodexide administration (200 mg/day). The glycocalyx dimension was estimated in two different vascular beds using sidestream dark field imaging and combined fluorescein/indocyanine green angiography for sublingual and retinal vessels, respectively. Transcapillary escape rate of albumin (TER alb) and hyaluronan catabolism were assessed as measures of vascular permeability.


      Both sublingual dimensions (0.64 [0.57–0.75] μm vs 0.78 [0.71–0.85] μm, p < 0.05, medians [interquartile range]) and retinal glycocalyx dimensions (5.38 [4.88–6.59] μm vs 8.89 [4.74–11.84] μm, p < 0.05) were reduced in the type 2 diabetes group compared with the controls whereas TER alb was increased (5.6 ± 2.3% vs 3.7 ± 1.7% in the controls, p < 0.05). In line with these findings, markers of hyaluronan catabolism were increased with diabetes (hyaluronan 137 ± 29 vs 81 ± 8 ng/ml and hyaluronidase 78 ± 4 vs 67 ± 2 U/ml, both p < 0.05). Sulodexide increased both the sublingual and retinal glycocalyx dimensions in participants with diabetes (to 0.93 [0.83–0.99] μm and to 5.88 [5.33–6.26] μm, respectively, p < 0.05). In line, a trend towards TER alb normalisation (to 4.0 ± 2.3%) and decreases in plasma hyaluronidase (to 72 ± 2 U/ml, p < 0.05) were observed in the diabetes group.


      Type 2 diabetes is associated with glycocalyx perturbation and increased vascular permeability, which are partially restored following sulodexide administration. Further studies are warranted to determine whether long-term treatment with sulodexide has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk.

      Trial registration NTR780/ ISRCTN82695186


      An unrestricted Novartis Foundation for Cardiovascular Excellence grant (2006) to M. Nieuwdorp/E. S. G. Stroes, Dutch Heart Foundation (grant number 2005T037)

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        Microalbuminuria is a risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) events. The relationship between the degree of albuminuria and CV risk is unclear. To estimate the risk of CV events in high-risk individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) and without DM who have microalbuminuria and to determine whether levels of albuminuria below the microalbuminuria threshold increase CV risk. The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation study, a cohort study conducted between 1994 and 1999 with a median 4.5 years of follow-up. Community and academic practices in North and South America and Europe. Individuals aged 55 years or more with a history of CV disease (n = 5545) or DM and at least 1 CV risk factor (n = 3498) and a baseline urine albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) measurement. Cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, or CV death); all-cause death; and hospitalization for congestive heart failure. Microalbuminuria was detected in 1140 (32.6%) of those with DM and 823 (14.8%) of those without DM at baseline. Microalbuminuria increased the adjusted relative risk (RR) of major CV events (RR, 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.64-2.05), all-cause death (RR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.84-2.38), and hospitalization for congestive heart failure (RR, 3.23; 95% CI, 2.54-4.10). Similar RRs were seen for participants with or without DM, even after adjusting for other CV risk factors (eg, the adjusted RR of the primary aggregate end point was 1.97 [95% CI, 1.68-2.31] in those with DM and 1.61 [95% CI, 1.36-1.90] in those without DM). Compared with the lowest quartile of ACR ( 1.62 mg/mmol) (P for trend <.001, even after excluding those with microalbuminuria). For every 0.4-mg/mmol increase in ACR level, the adjusted hazard of major CV events increased by 5.9% (95% CI, 4.9%-7.0%). Our results indicate that any degree of albuminuria is a risk factor for CV events in individuals with or without DM; the risk increases with the ACR, starting well below the microalbuminuria cutoff. Screening for albuminuria identifies people at high risk for CV events.
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          The microvascular endothelial cell monolayer localized at the critical interface between the blood and vessel wall has the vital functions of regulating tissue fluid balance and supplying the essential nutrients needed for the survival of the organism. The endothelial cell is an exquisite "sensor" that responds to diverse signals generated in the blood, subendothelium, and interacting cells. The endothelial cell is able to dynamically regulate its paracellular and transcellular pathways for transport of plasma proteins, solutes, and liquid. The semipermeable characteristic of the endothelium (which distinguishes it from the epithelium) is crucial for establishing the transendothelial protein gradient (the colloid osmotic gradient) required for tissue fluid homeostasis. Interendothelial junctions comprise a complex array of proteins in series with the extracellular matrix constituents and serve to limit the transport of albumin and other plasma proteins by the paracellular pathway. This pathway is highly regulated by the activation of specific extrinsic and intrinsic signaling pathways. Recent evidence has also highlighted the importance of the heretofore enigmatic transcellular pathway in mediating albumin transport via transcytosis. Caveolae, the vesicular carriers filled with receptor-bound and unbound free solutes, have been shown to shuttle between the vascular and extravascular spaces depositing their contents outside the cell. This review summarizes and analyzes the recent data from genetic, physiological, cellular, and morphological studies that have addressed the signaling mechanisms involved in the regulation of both the paracellular and transcellular transport pathways.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Room F4.211, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
            [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
            [3 ]Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
            [4 ]Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
            [5 ]Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
            Springer-Verlag (Berlin/Heidelberg )
            25 September 2010
            25 September 2010
            December 2010
            : 53
            : 12
            : 2646-2655
            © The Author(s) 2010
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            © Springer-Verlag 2010


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