A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation shows how diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It tells that the high blood glucose levels in case of diabetes can lead to heart diseases and stroke.
Narrowing of blood vessels can lead to various health problems
Narrowing of blood vessels in case of diabetes is a major risk factor for many health problems. It can also lead to CVDS, like stroke, hypertension, and other heart diseases.
Glucose (sugar) provides energy to the cells of a body. Glucose from food enters the bloodstream. Later, the insulin transfers this glucose from the blood to cells of the body.
In the case of diabetes, insulin of a body isn’t working properly. Glucose isn’t able to enter the cells and remains in the blood. It leads to the high blood glucose level in the body, known as hyperglycemia.
Over time, this high blood sugar level can cause some severe problems. It can harm a person’s nerves, eyes, and kidneys. It can also affect the blood vessels and heart leading to cardiovascular diseases.
Previously, a research team has found that the high blood sugar level, one of the major symptoms of diabetes, causes the activation of PKA enzyme.
Protein kinase A (PKA) can lead to an increase in the activity of calcium channels, causing narrowing of the blood vessels. Recently, a new study published in the JCI journal has studied the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with diabetes.
Vascular constriction due to increased activity of calcium channels
The research team has led a series of trials to study the effects of high BGLs on arterials cells and cerebral blood vessels. These cells are responsible for controlling blood flow in the body.
The team of physician and scientists has performed these trials on genetically modified mice. They have used two mouse models of diabetes for studying cardiac and vascular health.
The team has focused on the link between PKA and adenylyl cyclase (AC). AC is an enzyme that is in charge of producing cyclic AMP.
The cAMP is a second messenger involved in many important biological processes. It also has a role in the function of vascular cells.
The results of the study show that an adenylyl cyclase enzyme, AC5, mediates the activation of cAMP. Further study has shown that AC5 plays a vital role in the narrowing of blood vessels in case of diabetes.
The glucose-induced activity of AC5 enzyme directs the activation of the PKA pool. This PKA pool phosphorylates the calcium channels at a single amino acid, causing an increase in the activity of calcium channels.
Increased activity of these channels leads to an influx of calcium ions into the vascular muscle cells. This influx causes narrowing of the blood vessels.
All of this data depicts that high blood glucose levels during diabetes cause the AC5 induced increased activity of the calcium channels. And it can be a general mechanism for increased vascular contraction.
The research team is now hoping to check the effects of AC5 reactions in human cells, in case of high blood glucose levels. By finding how diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, the research teams can use it as a treatment target for reducing the risk.
This step can also decrease other health problems arising from the narrowing of the blood vessels. These problems may include eye, kidney, brain, and GI diseases.