The effect of enhancing insulin's actions in endothelial cells (ECs) to improve angiogenesis and wound healing was studied in obesity and diabetes. Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) was overexpressed in ECs using the VE-cadherin promoter to create ECIRS1 TG mice, which elevated pAkt activation and expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Flk1, and VE-cadherin in ECs and granulation tissues (GTs) of full-thickness wounds. Open wound and epithelialization rates and angiogenesis significantly improved in normal mice and high fat (HF) diet-induced diabetic mice with hyperinsulinemia in ECIRS1 TG versus wild type (WT), but not in insulin-deficient diabetic mice. Increased angioblasts and EC numbers in GT of ECIRS1 mice were due to proliferation in situ rather than uptake. GT in HF-fed diabetic mice exhibited parallel decreases in insulin and VEGF-induced pAkt and EC numbers by >50% without changes in angioblasts versus WT mice, which were improved in ECIRS1 TG mice on normal chow or HF diet. Thus, HF-induced diabetes impaired angiogenesis by inhibiting insulin signaling in GT to decrease the differentiation of angioblasts to EC, which was normalized by enhancing insulin's action targeted to EC, a potential target to improve wound healing in diabetes and obesity.
© 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.