Endothelial deletion of mTORC1 protects against hindlimb ischemia in diabetic miceviaactivation of autophagy, attenuation of oxidative stress and alleviation of inflammation

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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) complicated with diabetes mellitus (DM) still remains a thorny issue due to lack of effective strategies. Our previous study has demonstrated that inhibition of mTORC1 protected adipose-derived stromal cells from hindlimb ischemic injury in PAD mice. However, whether inhibition of mTORC1 could protect against PAD in diabetes mellitus and the underlying mechanisms remained elusive. In this study, we employed endothelial-specific raptor (an essential component of the mTORC1 signaling complex) knockout (KO) mice (Tie2-mTORC1ko) to investigate whether and how mTORC1 downregulation could alleviate hindlimb ischemic injury in diabetic mice. Tie2-mTORC1ko mice and their wild-type littermates were intraperitoneally injected with streptozocin to induce type 1 diabetic model, after which the hyperglycemic mice were randomly allocated to sham operation or PAD operation (femoral artery ligation). The restoration of hindlimb blood perfusion and recovery of limb functions were improved in diabetic Tie2-mTORC1ko PAD mice with significant improvements of autophagy, angiogenesis and vascular integrity as well as attenuation of apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress. In vitro, high glucose combining with hypoxia/serum deprivation treatment (HG+H/SD) significantly triggered apoptosis, reactive oxygen species generation and inflammation while inhibited autophagy and tube formation in HUVECs. The effect could be accentuated and attenuated by mTORC1 over-expression (TSC2 siRNA) and mTORC1 silencing (raptor siRNA), respectively. Moreover, autophagy inhibitor 3-MA could simulate the effects of TSC2 siRNA while autophagy inducer rapamycin could mimic the effects of raptor siRNA, suggesting that the beneficial effects of mTORC1 deletion were associated with autophagy induction. In conclusion, our present study demonstrates that endothelial mTORC1 deletion protects against hindlimb ischemic injury in diabetic mice possibly via activation of autophagy, attenuation of oxidative stress and alleviation of inflammation. Therapeutics targeting mTORC1 may therefore represents a promising strategy to rescue limb ischemia in diabetes mellitus.

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