Fenofibrate rescues diabetes-related impairment of ischemia-mediated angiogenesis by PPARα-independent modulation of thioredoxin-interacting protein

Jun Yuan, Joanne Tan, Kushwin Rajamani, Emma L. Solly, Emily J. King, Laura Lecce, Philippa J.L. Simpson, Yuen Ting Lam, Alicia J. Jenkins, Christina Bursill, Anthony C. Keech, Martin K.C. Ng

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonist, reduces lower limb amputations in patients with type 2 diabetes. The mechanism is, however, unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that fenofibrate markedly attenuates diabetes-related impairment of ischemia-mediated angiogenesis. In a murine model of hindlimb ischemia, daily oral fenofibrate treatment restored diabetes-impaired blood flow recovery, foot movement, hindlimb capillary density, vessel diameter, and vascular endothelial growth factor signaling to nondiabetic levels in both wild-type and PPARαknockout mice, indicating that these fenofibrate effects are largely PPARα independent. In vitro, fenofibric acid (FFA) rescued high glucose-induced (25 mmol/L) impairment of endothelial cell migration, tubulogenesis, and survival in a PPARα-independent manner. Interestingly, fenofibrate in vivo and FFA in vitro reversed high glucose-induced expression of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), an exquisitely glucose-inducible gene previously identified as a critical mediator of diabetesrelated impairment in neovascularization. Conversely, adenoviral overexpression of TXNIP abrogated the restorative effects of FFA on high glucose-impaired endothelial cell function in vitro, indicating that the effects of FFA are mediated by TXNIP. We conclude that fenofibrate rescues diabetic impairment in ischemia- mediated angiogenesis, in large part, by PPARαindependent regulation of TXNIP. These findings may therefore explain the reduction in amputations seen in patients with diabetes treated with fenofibrate.

Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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