Methylene blue alleviates endothelial dysfunction and reduces oxidative stress in aortas from diabetic rats

Andreea I. Privistirescu, Alexandra Sima, Oana M. Duicu, Romulus Timar, Mariana G. Roșca, Adrian Sturza, Danina M. Muntean

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4 Scopus citations


Endothelial dysfunction and the related increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production are important events in the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus (DM). Methylene blue (MB) has been systematically investigated for its protective effects against refractory hypotension and mitochondrial dysfunction. We have previously demonstrated that MB improved mitochondrial respiration and partially decreased oxidative stress in diabetic rat hearts. The present study was aimed to investigate whether MB modulates vascular function and ROS production in thoracic aortic rings isolated from rats with streptozotocin-induced DM (after 4 weeks of hyperglycemia). The effects of MB (0.1 μM, 30 min ex vivo incubation) on vascular reactivity in organ chamber (phenylephrine-induced contraction, acetylcholine-induced relaxation) and H2O2 production (assessed by ferrous iron xylenol orange oxidation assay) were investigated in vascular preparations with intact endothelium and after denudation. DM elicited a significant alteration of vascular function: increased contractility to phenylephrine, attenuation of acetylcholine-dependent relaxation, and augmented H2O2 generation. Ex vivo incubation with MB partially reversed all these changes (by approximately 70%) in vascular segments with intact endothelial layer (but not in denuded vessels). In conclusion, MB might be useful in alleviating endothelial dysfunction and mitigating endothelial oxidative stress, observations that clearly require further investigation in the setting of cardiometabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1016
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018


  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Experimental diabetes
  • Methylene blue
  • Oxidative stress


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