The current study investigated the potential of green tea (GT) to improve uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in diabetic conditions. In rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes, nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability was reduced by uncoupling eNOS, characterized by a reduction in tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) levels and a decrease in the eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratio. GT treatment ameliorated these abnormalities. Moreover, immortalized human mesangial cells (ihMCs) exposed to high glucose (HG) levels exhibited a rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decline in NO levels, which were reversed with GT. BH4 and the activity of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I decreased in ihMCs exposed to HG and was normalized by GT. Exogenous administration of BH4 in ihMCs reversed the HG-induced rise in ROS and the decline in NO production. However, coadministration of GT with BH4 did not result in a further reduction in ROS production, suggesting that reduced ROS with GT was indeed secondary to uncoupled eNOS. In summary, GT reversed the diabetes-induced reduction of BH4 levels, ameliorating uncoupling eNOS, and thus increasing NO bioavailability and reducing oxidative stress, two abnormalities that are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db11-1241/-/DC1.
- Received September 22, 2011.
- Accepted February 29, 2012.
- © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.
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