The vascular endothelium in diabetes and its potential as a therapeutic target

  • Zhenqi Liu

In addition to functioning as the innermost barrier separating the blood from tissue interstitium, vascular endothelium actively regulates vessel functions by both secreting vasoactive factors and direct coupling to nearby smooth muscle. As arterial and arteriolar function varies depending on their size and location the role played by the endothelium differs accordingly. The conduit arteries mainly regulate arterial plasticity/compliance, the resistance arterioles blood pressure and total blood flow to tissues, the pre-capillary arterioles tissue perfusion and the capillaries exchanges of nutrients, oxygen and hormones between the plasma and tissue interstitium.

Vascular endothelium has long been known to be insulin responsive. Endothelial cells express abundant insulin, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and the hybrid insulin/IGF-I receptors [1, 2, 3]. At physiological concentrations, insulin binds and activates the insulin receptors exclusively. It exerts its biological actions...


Endothelium Vasculature Insulin resistance Diabetes 



This work was supported by American Diabetes Association grants 7-07-CR-34, 9-09-NOVO-11 and 1-11-CR-30 and National Institutes of Health grant R01 HL-094722.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of MedicineUniversity of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA

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