Vascular endothelial growth factor during hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: relation to cognitive function and renin-angiotensin system activity

PL Kristensen, T Hoi-Hansen, Frans Boomsma, U Pedersen-Bjergaard, B Thorsteinsson

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Abstract

In healthy adults, levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increase in response to mild hypoglycemia. VEGF is implicated in glucose transport over the blood-brain barrier, and the increase during hypoglycemia has been positively correlated with preservation of cognitive function during hypoglycemia. High activity in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with an increased risk of severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Renin-angiotensin system possibly exerts its mechanism in hypoglycemia via VEGF. We studied the impact of mild hypoglycemia on plasma VEGF in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and high or low RAS activity and analyzed associations between VEGF levels and cognitive function during hypoglycemia. Eighteen patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus-9 with high and 9 with low RAS activity-underwent a single-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study with either mild hypoglycemia or stable glycemia. Cognitive function was assessed by the California Cognitive Assessment Package and the Alzheimer Quick Test. Nadir plasma glucose was 2.2 (0.3) mmol/L. During the control study, plasma VEGF did not change. During hypoglycemia, plasma VEGF increased from 39 to 58 pg/L in the high-RAS group (P = .004) and from 76 to 109 pg/L in the low-RAS group (P = .01), with no difference between RAS groups (P = .9). A weak association between reduced preservation of cognitive function during hypoglycemia and low VEGF response was observed. Plasma VEGF levels increase during mild, short-term hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The VEGF response is not dependent on RAS activity and only weakly associated with preservation of cognitive function during hypoglycemia. Thus, the previously described association between low RAS activity and better cognitive performance during hypoglycemia does not seem to be mediated by VEGF. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1430-1438
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism-Clinical and Experimental
Volume58
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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