Increased endocytosis in retinal vascular endothelial cells grown in high glucose medium is modulated by inhibitors of nonenzymatic glycosylation

A. W. Stitt, U. Chakravarthy, D. B. Archer, T. A. Gardiner

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24 Citations (Scopus)


We sought to determine if hyperglycaemia is responsible for increased retinal vascular endothelial-cell (RVEC) endocytosis in diabetes and to assess the role of nonenzymatic glycosylation in mediation of this novel endothelial-cell pathology. RVECs were propagated in media containing either 5 or 25 mmol/l glucose for up to 10 days after which they were exposed to the protein tracer horseradish peroxidase for 30 min. The level of RVEC endocytosis was quantified in intact cell monolayers by electron microscopic stereology, and in cell lysates by a simple spectrophotometric method. The effect of the nonenzymatic glycosylation inhibitors, aminoguanidine and D-lysine, on high-glucose medium induced changes in RVEC endocytosis was tested by inclusion of these agents in the culture medium. RVECs exposed to 25 mmol/l glucose showed a stepwise increase in endocytosis of horseradish peroxidase culminating in a two- to threefold increase after 10 days. Endocytosis returned to normal levels after a further 10 days in 5 mmol/l glucose medium. The increase in RVEC endocytosis was markedly reduced, but not completely normalised, by aminoguanidine and D-lysine. Exposure of cultured RVECs to 25 mmol/l glucose causes an increase in endocytosis of similar magnitude to that experienced by RVEC in early diabetes, and implicates hyperglycaemia in the latter situation. A significant component of the increase in RVEC endocytosis appears to be mediated by nonenzymatic glycosylation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1275
Number of pages5
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 1995

Bibliographical note

LR: 20121115; JID: 0006777; 0 (Enzyme Inhibitors); 0 (Guanidines); 50-99-7 (Glucose); 56-87-1 (Lysine); EC 1.11.1.- (Horseradish Peroxidase); SCQ4EZQ113 (pimagedine); ppublish


  • Animals
  • Capillaries
  • Cattle
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endocytosis
  • Endothelium/cytology/physiology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Female
  • Glucose/metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Guanidines/pharmacology
  • Horseradish Peroxidase/antagonists & inhibitors/metabolism
  • Lysine/pharmacology
  • Retinal Vessels/cytology/metabolism/physiology


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