Effect of high glucose on glycosaminoglycans in cultured retinal endothelial cells and rat retina

Gaganpreet Kaur, Yuefan Song, Ke Xia, Kevin McCarthy, Fuming Zhang, Robert J. Linhardt, Norman R. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The endothelial glycocalyx regulates vascular permeability, inflammation, and coagulation, and acts as a mechanosensor. The loss of glycocalyx can cause endothelial injury and contribute to several microvascular complications and, therefore, may promote diabetic retinopathy. Studies have shown a partial loss of retinal glycocalyx in diabetes, but with few molecular details of the changes in glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composition. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of hyperglycemia on GAGs of the retinal endothelial glycocalyx. Methods: GAGs were isolated from rat retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RRMECs), media, and retinas, followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assays. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to study mRNA transcripts of the enzymes involved in GAG biosynthesis. Results and Conclusions: Hyperglycemia significantly increased the shedding of heparan sulfate (HS), chondroitin sulfate (CS), and hyaluronic acid (HA). There were no changes to the levels of HS in RRMEC monolayers grown in high-glucose media, but the levels of CS and HA decreased dramatically. Similarly, while HA decreased in the retinas of diabetic rats, the total GAG and CS levels increased. Hyperglycemia in RRMECs caused a significant increase in the mRNA levels of the enzymes involved in GAG biosynthesis (including EXTL-1,2,3, EXT-1,2, ChSY-1,3, and HAS-2,3), with these increases potentially being compensatory responses to overall glycocalyx loss. Both RRMECs and retinas of diabetic rats exhibited glucose-induced alterations in the disaccharide compositions and sulfation of HS and CS, with the changes in sulfation including N,6-O-sulfation on HS and 4-O-sulfation on CS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-734
Number of pages15
JournalGlycobiology
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Endothelial glycocalyx
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Hyperglycemia

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