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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Role of Methylglyoxal in Diabetic Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases: Insights from Basic Science for Application into Clinical Practice

Author(s): Sowndramalingam Sankaralingam, Angham Ibrahim, MD Mizanur Rahman, Ali H. Eid and Shankar Munusamy*

Volume 24 , Issue 26 , 2018

Page: [3072 - 3083] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1381612824666180903141832

Price: $65


Background: The incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus are increasing globally at alarming rates. Cardiovascular and renal complications are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with diabetes. Methylglyoxal (MG) - a highly reactive dicarbonyl compound – is increased in patients with diabetes and has been implicated to play a detrimental role in the etiology of cardiovascular and renal complications. Derived from glucose, MG binds to arginine and lysine residues in proteins, and the resultant end products serve as surrogate markers of MG generation in vivo. Under normal conditions, MG is detoxified by the enzyme glyoxalase 1 (Glo1), using reduced glutathione as a co-factor. Elevated levels of MG is known to cause endothelial and vascular dysfunction, oxidative stress and atherosclerosis; all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, MG has also been shown to cause pathologic structural alterations and impair kidney function. Conversely, MG scavengers (such as N-acetylcysteine, aminoguanidine or metformin) or Nrf2/Glo1 activators (such as trans-resveratrol / hesperetin) are shown to be useful in preventing MG-induced cardiovascular and renal complications in diabetes. However, clinical evidence supporting the MG lowering properties of these agents are limited and hence, need further investigation.

Conclusion: Reducing MG levels directly using scavengers or indirectly via activation of Nrf2/Glo1 may serve as a novel and potent therapeutic strategy to counter the deleterious effects of MG in diabetic complications.

Keywords: Methylglyoxal, diabetic complications, endothelial dysfunction, cardiomyopathy, nephropathy, advanced glycation endproducts.

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