Reduced prostacyclin (PGI2) production by the vascular wall has been proposed as a possible cause of macro- or microangiopathy in diabetes mellitus. In the present study, we confirmed the stimulatory activity on PGI2 (PSA) production in plasma-derived serum (PDS) by cultured aortic endothelial cells. Furthermore, the abnormality of PSA was examined in diabetic PDS. PSA in PDS from non-insulin-dependent diabetics significantly decreased as compared with that in PDS from age-matched control subjects. There was no difference in PSA in PDS between diabetic patients with and without vascular complications such as retinopathy and nephropathy. In addition, after treatment with dialysis, PSA in diabetic PDS was still not restored to that in normal PDS. These findings suggest that relatively heat-stable (56 °C, 30 min) and nondialyzable PGI2 stimulatory substance(s) may decrease in diabetic PDS. It is concluded that a reduction in PDS-stimulated PGI2 production by the vascular wall can play an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular lesions in diabetes mellitus.

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