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Uptake mechanisms for ascorbate and dehydroascorbate in lymphoblasts from diabetic nephropathy and hypertensive patients


In diabetic nephropathy and hypertension, a major cause of mortality is from cardiovascular disease. Since low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin C have been associated with such complications, we have examined the uptake mechanisms for ascorbic acid (AA) and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) in lymphoblasts from normal control subjects (CON), normoalbuminuric insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) patients (DCON), patients with IDDM and nephropathy (DN) and hypertensive patients (HT) using mass assays of uptake and measuring AA using high-performance liquid chromatography. Precautions were taken to prevent oxidation of AA and to take into account the instability of DHA in buffers. DHA uptake was the major mechanism in all four groups of subjects, and the Vmax (maximal uptake rate) was significantly lower in the DN cells (24.7 ± 1.0 nmol [95 % confidence intervals CI 22.5, 26.3] 106 cells–1 h–1) compared to CON and DCON cells (33.9 ± 2.1 [95 % CI 29.4, 38.4] and 37.0 ± 2.2 [95 % CI 32.2, 41.8] nmol 106 cells–1 h–1, respectively, p < 0.001 for both). DHA Vmax was also lower in the HT group (23.2 ± 1.1 [95 % CI 20.7, 25.7] nmol 106 cells–1 h–1) compared to the CON group (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the Km or passive membrane permeability for DHA or the AA uptake. DHA uptake showed a negative correlation to systolic blood pressure (r s = –0.49, p < 0.001). These findings suggest that impaired DHA uptake may be one component of the phenotype expressed by DN cells that may persist in culture. Impaired DHA uptake in vivo, especially in the presence of hyperglycaemia, leads to impaired regeneration of AA and depletion of anti-oxidant defences, exposing such individuals to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. [Diabetologia (1998) 41: 435–442]

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Received: 10 July 1997 and in final revised form: 24 November 1997

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Ng, L., Ngkeekwong, F., Quinn, P. et al. Uptake mechanisms for ascorbate and dehydroascorbate in lymphoblasts from diabetic nephropathy and hypertensive patients. Diabetologia 41, 435–442 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001250050927

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  • Keywords Ascorbic acid
  • dehydroascorbic acid
  • lymphoblasts
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • hypertension.