Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2006;19(4):251-8. Epub 2005 Dec 13.

Differences in plasma homocysteine levels between Zucker fatty and Zucker diabetic fatty rats following 3 weeks oral administration of organic vanadium compounds.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3.



Recently, our laboratory group has reported that rats with Type 1 diabetes have decreased plasma homocysteine and cysteine levels compared to non-diabetic controls and that organic vanadium treatment increased plasma homocysteine concentrations to non-diabetic concentrations. However, to date, no studies have been done investigating the effects of organic vanadium compounds on plasma homocysteine and its metabolites in Type 2 diabetic animal model. These studies examined the effect of organic vanadium compounds [bis(maltolato)oxovanadium(IV) and bis(ethylmaltolato)oxovanadium(IV); BMOV and BEOV] administered orally on plasma concentrations of homocysteine and its metabolites (cysteine and cysteinylglycine) in lean, Zucker fatty (ZF) and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. ZF rats are a model of pre-diabetic Type 2 diabetes characterized by hyperinsulinemia and normoglycemia. The ZDF rat is a model of Type 2 diabetes characterized by relative hypoinsulinemia and hyperglycemia.


Zucker lean and ZF rats received BMOV in the drinking water at a dose of 0.19 +/- 0.02 mmol/kg/day. Lean and ZDF rats received BEOV by oral gavage daily at dose of 0.1 mmol/kg. The treatment period for both studies was 21 days. At termination, animals were fasted overnight (approximately 16 h) and blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture for determination of plasma glucose, insulin and homocysteine levels. Plasma homocysteine and its metabolites levels were determined using high-pressure liquid chromatography. Plasma glucose was determined using a Glucose Analyzer 2. Plasma insulin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. Plasma triglycerides were determined by an enzymatic assay methodology.


ZF (n = 4) and ZDF (n = 10) rats had significantly lower plasma homocysteine as compared to their respective lean groups (ZF 0.78 +/- 0.1 micromol/L vs. Zucker lean 2.19 +/- 0.7 micromol/L; ZDF 1.71 +/- 0.2 micromol/L vs. Zucker lean 3.02 +/- 0.3 micromol/L; p < 0.05). BMOV treatment in ZF rats restored plasma homocysteine levels to those observed in lean untreated rats (ZF treated: 2.04 +/- 0.2 micromol/L; lean 2.19 +/- 0.7 micromol/L). There was a modest effect of BMOV treatment on plasma glucose levels in ZF rats. BEOV treatment significantly decreased the elevated plasma glucose levels in the ZDF rats (lean 7.9 +/- 0.1 mmol/L; lean + vanadium 7.7 +/- 0.2 mmol/L; ZDF 29.9 +/- 0.4 mmol/L; ZDF + vanadium 17.4 +/- 0.3 mmol/L, p < 0.05). Organic vanadium treatment reduced cysteine levels in both ZF and ZDF rats. No differences in total plasma cysteinylglycine concentrations were observed.


Plasma homocysteine levels are significantly reduced in a pre-diabetic model of Type 2 diabetes, which was restored to lean levels upon vanadium treatment; however, this restoration of plasma homocysteine levels was not seen in ZDF Type 2 diabetic rats following vanadium treatment. In the latter case vanadium treatment may not have totally overcome the insulin resistance seen in these animals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk