Background: Patients with long-term exposure to high levels of hyperglycaemia remain more susceptible to diabetes-related complications, even with subsequent lower levels of hyperglycaemia. We sought to confirm the hypothesis that exposure to continuous increased glucose results in a memory of cellular stress in isolated endothelial cells, even when switched back to normal glucose, and to investigate the ability of gliclazide to attenuate this phenomenon. Methods: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were incubated for 21 days in normal glucose (5 mmol/L), high glucose (30 mmol/L), or high glucose for 14 days followed by normal glucose for 7 days (memory condition). The effects of gliclazide (10 μmol/L) and glibenclamide (1 μmol/L) were evaluated in the memory condition and added to the culture media early (first 14 days), late (last 7 days), or throughout the study. Oxidative stress and cell apoptosis parameters were investigated. Results: Continuous high glucose increased reactive oxygen species, 8-OHdG, nitrotyrosine, caspase-3, and reduced Bcl-2 expression. These deleterious effects were also observed in the memory condition. Gliclazide applied early or throughout the study improved all parameters. In contrast, glibenclamide showed no relevant effect on study parameters. Conclusions: Our results suggest that gliclazide prevents endothelial cell apoptosis by reducing oxidative stress. The results appear to confirm the hypothesis that exposure of cells to continuous increased glucose results in a hyperglycaemic cellular memory that remains, even when cells are switched back to normal glucose. Gliclazide attenuated this cellular memory, decreasing oxidative stress and protecting vascular endothelial cells from apoptosis.
- Endothelial cells
- Hyperglycaemic memory
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism