a1 Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, 6439 Garners Ferry Rd., Columbia, SC 29209, USA
Diabetes is an increasing public health problem that is expected to escalate in the future due to the growing incidence of obesity in the western world. While this disease is well known for its devastating effects on the kidneys and vascular system, diabetic individuals can develop cardiac dysfunction, termed diabetic cardiomyopathy, in the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension or atherosclerosis. While much effort has gone into understanding the effects of elevated glucose or altered insulin sensitivity on cellular components within the heart, significant changes in the cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) have also been noted. In this review article we highlight what is currently known regarding the effects diabetes has on both the expression and chemical modification of proteins within the ECM and how the fibrotic response often observed as a consequence of this disease can contribute to reduced cardiac function.
(Received July 27 2011)
(Accepted August 22 2011)
1 These authors contributed equally to this work.