The aim of the present study was to evaluate the action of plasma from insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) pregnant women on nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We also studied the effect of the plasma on cytosolic calcium and on Na+/K+-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity. Dynamic fluorescence studies of membrane fluidity were contemporarily performed to detect a direct effect of plasma on the endothelial cell membrane. We observed a significant increase in NOS activity, intracellular calcium, and Na+/K+-ATPase activity in cultured HUVECs exposed to IDDM plasma. Our dynamic fluorescence study showed a different microenvironmental organization of the cellular membrane after incubation with plasma from IDDM pregnant women, with a marked decrease in microheterogeneity as evaluated in terms of 1-(4-trimethylaminophenyl)-6- phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH) lifetime distribution width. The present investigation suggests that plasma from IDDM pregnant women can cause a generalized disturbance in the function of endothelial cells cultured from healthy subjects. Such a modification might play a central role in the pathogenesis of the vascular complications of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism