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Maintenance of Enteral ACE2 Prevents Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetes.

Prasad, R., et al. “Maintenance Of Enteral Ace2 Prevents Diabetic Retinopathy In Type 1 Diabetes.”. Circulation Research, pp. e1-e21.
Center University of Alabama at Birmingham
Author Ram Prasad, Jason L Floyd, Mariana Dupont, Angela Harbour, Yvonne Adu-Agyeiwaah, Bright Asare-Bediako, Dibyendu Chakraborty, Kara Kichler, Aayush Rohella, Sergio Li Calzi, Regina Lammendella, Justin Wright, Michael E Boulton, Gavin Y Oudit, Mohan K Raizada, Bruce R Stevens, Qiuhong Li, Maria B Grant
Keywords ACE2, diabetic microvascular complications, Glucose homeostasis, probiotics, renin-angiotensin system

BACKGROUND: We examined components of systemic and intestinal renin-angiotensin system on gut barrier permeability, glucose homeostasis, systemic inflammation, and progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in human subjects and mice with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

METHODS: T1D individual with (n=18) and without (n=20) DR and controls (n=34) were examined for changes in gut-regulated components of the immune system, gut leakage markers (FABP2 [fatty acid binding protein 2] and peptidoglycan), and Ang II (angiotensin II); mice were orally administered a (LP) probiotic expressing humanized ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) protein (LP-ACE2) as either a prevention or an intervention. mice with genetic overexpression of by small intestine epithelial cells () were similarly examined. After 9 months of T1D, circulatory, enteral, and ocular end points were assessed.

RESULTS: T1D subjects exhibit elevations in gut-derived circulating immune cells (ILC1 cells) and higher gut leakage markers, which were positively correlated with plasma Ang II and DR severity. The LP-ACE2 prevention cohort and genetic overexpression of intestinal ACE2 preserved barrier integrity, reduced inflammatory response, improved hyperglycemia, and delayed development of DR. Improvements in glucose homeostasis were due to intestinal MasR activation, resulting in a GSK-3β (glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta)/c-Myc (cellular myelocytomatosis oncogene)-mediated decrease in intestinal glucose transporter expression. In the LP-ACE2 intervention cohort, gut barrier integrity was improved and DR reversed, but no improvement in hyperglycemia was observed. These data support that the beneficial effects of LP-ACE2 on DR are due to the action of ACE2, not improved glucose homeostasis.

CONCLUSIONS: Dysregulated systemic and intestinal renin-angiotensin system was associated with worsening gut barrier permeability, gut-derived immune cell activation, systemic inflammation, and progression of DR in human subjects. In mice, maintaining intestinal ACE2 expression prevented and reversed DR, emphasizing the multifaceted role of the intestinal renin-angiotensin system in diabetes and DR.

Year of Publication
Circulation research
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Circ Res
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