• primates;
  • aminoguanidine;
  • glycation;
  • endothelium;
  • microvascular;
  • complications


Abnormalities of endothelial function have been demonstrated in diabetes and are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. The aims of this study were to determine whether aminoguanidine, an inhibitor of glycation, can prevent endothelial and microcirculation abnormalities in a primate model of type 1 diabetes. Male baboons (Papio hamadryas) were assigned to one of the four groups: control, diabetes, control treated with aminoguanidine or diabetes treated with aminoguanidine. Diabetes was induced by streptozocin (60 mg/kg) and treated with once daily injection of insulin. Aminoguanidine was given subcutaneously (10 mg/kg), once a day. Diabetic animals had a mean duration of diabetes of 8.9±3.4 years and HbA1c of 8.9±1.1%. Microvascular function was measured by laser Doppler velocimetry, with examination of endothelium-dependent increase in skin blood flow (SkBF) following iontophoresis of acetylcholine (ACh) and endothelium-independent increase in SkBF in response to the nitric oxide (NO) donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Multiple regression analysis identified diabetes (P=0.049) and aminioguanidine treatment (P=0.026) as significant determinants of ACh response. The diabetic baboons treated with aminoguanidine had less Ach-mediated SkBF response compared with controls (1.39±0.32 vs. 2.26±0.61, F=3.3, P=0.04), but there was no difference between groups in SkBF response to SNP. We conclude that endothelial dysfunction can be demonstrated in this primate model of type 1 diabetes at a stage when overt diabetic complications are not present. This occurred in the absence of insulin resistance or significant hypercholesterolemia. Administration of aminoguanidine from the onset of diabetes was not able to prevent this abnormality and in fact aggravated the endothelial response. Effects of aminoguanidine on NO synthase may contribute to this phenomenon. Am. J. Primatol. 70:796–802, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.