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Acta Neuropathol. 2001 Sep;102(3):264-70.

Histochemical and morphometrical analysis of skeletal muscle in spontaneous diabetic WBN/Kob rat.

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Research Institute of Drug Safety, Setsunan University, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan.


Spontaneous diabetic WBN/Kob rats develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by primary segmental demyelination and secondary axonal degeneration. The objective of this study was to evaluate the histochemical and morphometric characteristics of the lesions of skeletal muscles innervated by the affected nerves in diabetic rats. The following groups of rats were investigated: 24-month-old males that had been diabetic for less than 12 months, 10-month-old pre-diabetic males, 24-month-old non-diabetic females, and 10-month-old nondiabetic females. The soleus (SOL), extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles were studied by light and electron microscopy, including histochemical and morphometric analyses. Muscle weight was reduced with age to a remarkable degree in diabetic BF and EDL. Dispersed atrophy of muscle fiber was observed in type 2a fibers of BF and EDL, and type 2c fibers of SOL, and the incidence was higher in diabetic rats. Multi-core, myofibrillar disorientation and an increased number of central nucleus of SOL, along with connective tissue proliferation of BF perimysium were noted in diabetic rats. The fiber population and type of composition varied with age, but no remarkable changes attributable to diabetic conditions were observed. Electron microscopically, an abnormal arrangement of myofibrils, a number of myelin figures, mitochondrial swelling and lysis of mitochondrial cristae were seen in diabetic rats. However, the neuromuscular junction and capillaries were intact. These findings indicate that the diabetic skeletal muscle lesion in WBN/Kob rats was mainly myogenic in nature, and was aggravated by the age-related change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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