British journal of pharmacology

Effects of alpha-lipoic acid on endothelial function in aged diabetic and high-fat fed rats.

PMID 17906683


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (alpha-LA) on endothelial function in diabetic and high-fat fed animal models and elucidate the potential mechanism underlying the benefits of alpha-LA. Plasma metabolites reflecting glucose and lipid metabolism, endothelial function, urinary albumin excretion (UAE), plasma and aortic malondialdehyde (MDA) and urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) were assessed in non-diabetic controls (Wistar rats), untreated Goto-Kakizaki (GK) diabetic and high-fat fed GK rats (fed with atherogenic diet only, treated with alpha-LA and treated with vehicle, for 3 months). Vascular eNOS, nitrotyrosine, carbonyl groups and superoxide anion were also assessed in the different groups. alpha-LA and soybean oil significantly reduced both total and non-HDL serum cholesterol and triglycerides induced by atherogenic diet. MDA, carbonyl groups, vascular superoxide and 8-OHdG levels were higher in GK and high-fat fed GK groups and fully reversed with alpha-LA treatment. High-fat fed GK diabetic rats showed significantly reduced endothelial function and increased UAE, effects ameliorated with alpha-LA. This endothelial dysfunction was associated with decreased NO production, decreased expression of eNOS and increased vascular superoxide production and nitrotyrosine expression. alpha-LA restores endothelial function and significantly improves systemic and local oxidative stress in high-fat fed GK diabetic rats. Improved endothelial function due to alpha-LA was at least partially attributed to recoupling of eNOS and increased NO bioavailability and represents a pharmacological approach to prevent major complications associated with type 2 diabetes.