In healthy individuals, the endothelium plays a fundamental role in normal health in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction results in the development of several pathologies. In diabetes, in particular, sustained hyperglycemia, a characteristic of diabetes, contributes to EC dysfunction and consequently mediates the pathogenesis of diabetes-associated micro- and macrovasculopathies. Hyperglycemia-induced EC dysfunction is triggered by elevated levels of oxidative stress derived from several mechanisms, with the mitochondria as a key source, and is exacerbated by a subsequent hyperglycemia-induced self-perpetuating cycle of oxidative stress and aberrant metabolic memory. Recent reports have highlighted the importance of metabolic pathways in EC and suggested the therapeutic potential of targeting EC metabolism. This review focuses on the current knowledge regarding differences in the metabolism of healthy ECs vs. diabetes-associated dysfunctional ECs, and outlines how EC metabolism may be targeted for therapeutic benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • Angiogenesis
  • Diabetes
  • Endothelial cell dysfunction
  • Endothelial cell metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia


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