Women Have Greater Endothelin-B Receptor Function and Lower Mitochondrial Capacity Compared to Men With Type 1 Diabetes


Abstract Context Type 1 diabetes (T1D) negatively affects both the endothelin system and muscle oxidative capacity. The endothelin pathway is a critical regulator of microcirculatory function and may exhibit sexual dichotomy by which healthy premenopausal women have greater endothelin-B receptor (ETBR) function compared to men. Moreover, T1D may differentially alter muscle oxidative capacity in men and women; however, whether ETBR function is impaired in women compared to men with T1D and its relationship with muscle oxidative capacity has yet to be explored. Objective The purpose of this investigation was to determine if ETBR-mediated dilation is impaired in women compared to men with T1D and if this is related to their skeletal muscle oxidative capacity. Methods Men (n = 9; glycated hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] = 7.8 ± 1.0%) and women (N = 10 women; HbA1c = 8.4 ± 1.3%) with uncomplicated T1D were recruited for this investigation. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and intradermal microdialysis (750 nM BQ-123 + ET-1 [10−20–10−8 mol/L]) were used to evaluate skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and assess ETBR-mediated vasodilation, respectively. Results Skeletal muscle oxidative capacity was significantly lower (P = .031) in women compared with men with T1D. However, ETBR-mediated dilation induced a significantly greater (P = .012) vasodilatory response in women compared to men with T1D, and the area under the curve was negatively associated with skeletal muscle oxidative capacity (r = −.620; P = .042). Conclusion Compared to men with uncomplicated T1D, muscle oxidative capacity was lower and ETBR-mediated vasodilation was higher in women with uncomplicated T1D. ETBR-induced vasodilatory capacity was inversely related to skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, suggesting there may be compensatory mechanisms occurring to preserve microvascular blood flow in women with T1D.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism