The aim of this study was to determine the effects of single and repeated episodes of clamped hypoglycemia on fibrinolytic balance, proinflammatory biomarkers, proatherothrombotic mechanisms, and endothelial function. Twenty healthy individuals (12 male and 8 female) were studied during separate 2-day randomized protocols. Day 1 consisted of either two 2-h hyperinsulinemic (812 ± 50 pmol/L)-euglycemic (5 ± 0.1 mmol/L) or hyperinsulinemic (812 ± 50 pmol/L)-hypoglycemic (2.9 ± 0.1 mmol/L) clamps. Day 2 consisted of a single 2-h hyperinsulinemic-hypoglycemic clamp. Two-dimensional Doppler ultrasound was used to determine brachial arterial endothelial function. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, P-selectin, TAT (thrombin/antithrombin complex), tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6 responses were increased (P < 0.05) during single or repeated hypoglycemia compared with euglycemia. Endogenous and exogenous nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation were both impaired by repeated hypoglycemia. Neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses were also blunted by repeated hypoglycemia (P < 0.05). In summary, acute moderate hypoglycemia impairs fibrinolytic balance; increases proinflammatory responses, platelet activation, and coagulation biomarkers; and reduces NO-mediated endothelial function in healthy individuals. Repeated episodes of hypoglycemia further impair vascular function by additionally reducing exogenously NO-mediated endothelial function and increasing coagulation biomarkers. We conclude that despite reduced neuroendocrine and ANS responses, antecedent hypoglycemia results in greater endothelial dysfunction and an increased proatherothrombotic state compared with a single acute episode of hypoglycemia.
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