I have studied that Diabetes Mellitus leads to kidney failure and that this is because of the damage to the blood vessels (especially the blood vessels in the kidney) due to high levels of blood glucose?

How do high levels of blood glucose damage blood vessels?


I am putting here the main points from the link given by @WYSIWYG (i.e. this):

High glucose levels reduce the levels of the powerful vasodilator nitric oxide in blood vessels, a shortfall that increases the risk of high blood pressure and eventually narrows down the vessels...increased modification of proteins by a glucose-derived molecule is a player in vascular problems associated with hypertension, stroke and obesity as well...the researchers found that there was an increased activity by O-GlcNAc in the blood vessels, which competes with another mechanism for modifying proteins called phosphorylation. In blood vessels, phosphorylation modifies the enzyme that produces nitric oxide, called nitric oxide synthase, so that it makes more of the blood vessel dilator. O-GlcNAc seems to beat phosphorylation to the punch so there is the opposite result.

Here, O-GlcNAc refers to O-linked β-N-acetyl glucosamine.


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