The increased formation of methylglyoxal (MG) under hyperglycemia is associated with the development of microvascular complications in patients with diabetes mellitus; however, the effects of elevated MG levels in vivo are poorly understood. In zebrafish, a transient knockdown of glyoxalase 1, the main MG detoxifying system, led to the elevation of endogenous MG levels and blood vessel alterations. To evaluate effects of a permanent knockout of glyoxalase 1 in vivo, glo1–/– zebrafish mutants were generated using CRISPR/Cas9. In addition, a diet-induced–obesity zebrafish model was used to analyze glo1–/– zebrafish under high nutrient intake. Glo1–/– zebrafish survived until adulthood without growth deficit and showed increased tissue MG concentrations. Impaired glucose tolerance developed in adult glo1–/– zebrafish and was indicated by increased postprandial blood glucose levels and postprandial S6 kinase activation. Challenged by an overfeeding period, fasting blood glucose levels in glo1–/– zebrafish were increased which translated into retinal blood vessel alterations. Thus, the data have identified a defective MG detoxification as a metabolic prerequisite and glyoxalase 1 alterations as a genetic susceptibility to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus under high nutrition intake.
Elisabeth Lodd, Lucas M. Wiggenhauser, Jakob Morgenstern, Thomas H. Fleming, Gernot Poschet, Michael Büttner, Christoph T. Tabler, David P. Wohlfart, Peter P. Nawroth, Jens Kroll