Up-regulation of FoxO1 contributes to adverse vascular remodelling in type 1 diabetic rats

Jingjin Liu, Xiang Xie, Dan Yan, Yongshun Wang, Hongbin Yuan, Yin Cai, Jierong Luo, Aimin Xu, Yu Huang, Chi Wai Cheung, Michael G. Irwin, Zhengyuan Xia

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular complications from diabetes often result in poor outcomes for patients, even after optimized interventions. Forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) is a key regulator of cellular metabolism and plays an important role in vessel formation and maturation. Alterations of FoxO1 occur in the cardiovascular system in diabetes, yet the role of FoxO1 in diabetic vascular complications is poorly understood. In Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic rats, FoxO1 expression was up-regulated in carotid arteries at 8 weeks of diabetes that was accompanied with adverse vascular remodelling characterized as increased wall thickness, carotid medial cross-sectional area, media-to-lumen ratio and decreased carotid artery lumen area. This adverse vascular remodelling induced by hyperglycaemia in diabetic rats required FoxO1 activation as pharmacological inhibition of FoxO1 with 50mg/kg AS1842856 (AS) reversed vascular remodelling in type 1 diabetic rats. The adverse vascular remodelling in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) occurred concomitantly with increases in pro-inflammatory factors, adhesion factors, apoptosis, NOD-like receptor family protein-3 inflammasome activation and the phenotypic switch of arterial smooth muscle cells, which were all reversed by AS. In addition, FoxO1 inhibition counteracted the down-regulation of its upstream mediator PDK1 in T1DM. PDK1 activator reduced FoxO1 nuclear translocation, which serves as the basis for subsequent transcriptional regulation during hyperglycaemia. Taken together, our data suggest that FoxO1 is a critical trigger for type 1 diabetes-induced vascular remodelling in rats, and inhibition of FoxO1 thus offers a potential therapeutic option for diabetes-associated cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13727-13738
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number23
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes
  • Forkhead box protein O1
  • vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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