Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2012, Article ID 162802, 10 pages
Research Article

C-Peptide Reduces Mitochondrial Superoxide Generation by Restoring Complex I Activity in High Glucose-Exposed Renal Microvascular Endothelial Cells

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 9105, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
3Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Received 14 March 2012; Accepted 10 April 2012

Academic Editors: O. Giampietro, J. Pachucki, and H. Tamemoto

Copyright © 2012 Himani Vejandla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hyperglycemia-mediated microvascular damage has been proposed to originate from excessive generation of mitochondrial superoxide in endothelial cells and is the suggested mechanism by which the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced renal damage occurs. C-peptide has been shown to ameliorate diabetes-induced renal impairment. Yet, the mechanisms underlying this protective benefit remain unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether C-peptide affords protection to renal microvascular endothelial cell mitochondria during hyperglycemia. Conditionally immortalized murine renal microvascular endothelial cells (MECs) were exposed to low (5.5 mM) or high glucose (25 mM) media with either C-peptide (6.6 nM) or its scrambled sequence control peptide for 24 or 48 hours. Respiratory control ratio, a measure of mitochondrial electrochemical coupling, was significantly higher in high glucose renal MECs treated with C-peptide than those of high glucose alone. C-peptide also restored high glucose-induced renal MEC mitochondrial membrane potential changes back to their basal low glucose state. Moreover, C-peptide prevented the excessive mitochondrial superoxide generation and concomitant reductions in mitochondrial complex I activity which are mediated by the exposure of the renal MECs to high glucose. Together, these data demonstrate that C-peptide protects against high glucose-induced generation of mitochondrial superoxide in renal MECs via restoration of basal mitochondrial function.