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Exp Mol Pathol. 1992 Dec;57(3):215-21.

Glucose and glucose analogs modulate collagen metabolism.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Patients with diabetes often develop complications involving collagen-containing connective tissues. Previous in vitro studies have demonstrated that glucose inhibits collagen fibril formation and subsequent cross-linking. Collagen with diminished cross-linking is more susceptible to collagenolytic degradation. This may underlie the decreased collagen levels. To test this hypothesis, D-glucose and its two analogs, L-glucose and 2-deoxy-D-glucose, were used in chick calvaria organ cultures to examine parameters of collagen metabolism. L-Glucose is not used by the cell and functions as an extracellular glucose-like molecule, while 2-deoxy-D-glucose inhibits normal D-glucose uptake by blockading the glucose transport mechanism. Each of these three sugars had the ability to inhibit collagen fibril formation. D-Glucose stimulated collagen synthesis; L-glucose had no effect; and deoxyglucose inhibited collagen synthesis. D-Glucose was able to reverse the inhibitory effect of deoxyglucose. D-Glucose did not change levels of degradation of newly synthesized collagen while both L-glucose and deoxyglucose stimulated collagen degradation. When glucose transport was inhibited by deoxyglucose, collagen degradation was further enhanced. We suggest that decreased collagen levels in the connective tissues of diabetics may result from a combination of inhibition of collagen fibril formation and subsequent cross-linking, as well as increased collagen degradation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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