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John N Stabley, Rhonda D Prisby, Bradley J Behnke, and Michael D Delp

Bone health and cardiovascular function are compromised in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The purpose of this study was to determine whether skeletal vascular control mechanisms are altered during the progression of T2DM in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Responses of the principal nutrient artery (PNA) of the femur from obese ZDF rats with prediabetes, short-term diabetes, and long-term diabetes to endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine) and -independent (sodium nitroprusside) vasodilation and potassium chloride, norepinephrine (NE), and a myogenic vasoconstrictor were determined in vitro. Few changes in the PNA vasomotor responses occurred for the prediabetic and short-term diabetic conditions. Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation were reduced, and NE and myogenic vasoconstriction were increased in obese ZDF rats with long-term diabetes relative to lean age-matched controls. Differences in endothelium-dependent vasodilation of the femoral PNA between ZDF rats and controls were abolished by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N G-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester. The passive pressure–diameter response of the femoral PNA was also lower across a range of intraluminal pressures with long-term T2DM. Regional bone and marrow perfusion and vascular conductance, measured in vivo using radiolabeled microspheres, were lower in obese ZDF rats with long-term diabetes. These findings indicate that the profound impairment of the bone circulation may contribute to the osteopenia found to occur in long bones during chronic T2DM.

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Melyssa R Bratton, James W Antoon, Bich N Duong, Daniel E Frigo, Syreeta Tilghman, Bridgette M Collins-Burow, Steven Elliott, Yan Tang, Lilia I Melnik, Ling Lai, Jawed Alam, Barbara S Beckman, Steven M Hill, Brian G Rowan, John A McLachlan, and Matthew E Burow

The estrogen receptor α (ERα) is a transcription factor that mediates the biological effects of 17β-estradiol (E2). ERα transcriptional activity is also regulated by cytoplasmic signaling cascades. Here, several Gα protein subunits were tested for their ability to regulate ERα activity. Reporter assays revealed that overexpression of a constitutively active Gαo protein subunit potentiated ERα activity in the absence and presence of E2. Transient transfection of the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 showed that Gαo augments the transcription of several ERα-regulated genes. Western blots of HEK293T cells transfected with ER±Gαo revealed that Gαo stimulated phosphorylation of ERK 1/2 and subsequently increased the phosphorylation of ERα on serine 118. In summary, our results show that Gαo, through activation of the MAPK pathway, plays a role in the regulation of ERα activity.