Endothelial dysfunction and impaired vascular relaxation represent a common cause of microvascular disease in patients with diabetes. Although multiple mechanisms underlying altered endothelial cell function in diabetes have been described, there is currently no specific and approved pharmacological treatment. In this edition of Clinical Science, Morales-Cano et al. characterize voltage-dependent K+ (Kv) channels as genes regulated by pharmacological activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-b/d (PPARb/d). Diabetes altered Kv channel function leading to impaired coronary artery relaxation, which was prevented by pharmacological activation of PPARb/d. These studies highlight an important mechanism of vascular dysfunction in diabetes and point to a potential approach for therapy, particularly considering that PPARb/d ligands have been developed and tested in small clinical trials.
- © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society