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Diabetologia. 1992 Sep;35(9):813-7.

Potential use of glutathione for the prevention and treatment of diabetic neuropathy in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Utrecht University Hospital, Netherlands.

Abstract

It has been shown that parameters of oxidative stress are increased in experimental diabetic neuropathy. The glutathione redox system is one of the intracellular scavenger systems for neutralizing free oxygen radicals. In this investigation we studied the effect of glutathione-treatment on the development of diabetic neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats by measuring sensory and motor nerve conduction velocities. The total study period was 10 weeks. Four groups of rats were studied: Group 1 consisted of non-diabetic, age-matched control rats; Group 2, of diabetic rats treated with placebo from week 0 to 10; Group 3, of diabetic rats treated with 200 mg glutathione/kg body weight i.v. two times per week from weeks 0 to 10; and Group 4, of diabetic rats treated with placebo from weeks 0 to 4 and as Group 3 from weeks 4 to 10. The sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity of rats treated prophylactically with glutathione (Group 3) were significantly different from those of rats treated with placebo (Group 2) or with glutathione administered at a later time point (Group 4). Complete restoration of sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity was not reached. There was a significant improvement in motor nerve conduction velocity from weeks 4 to 6 (p less than 0.005), but not in sensory nerve conduction velocity in the delayed treatment group (Group 4). In conclusion, treatment with glutathione, a free radical scavenger, is partially effective in the prevention of diabetic neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, but is of limited value when the neuropathy is already present.

PMID:
1397775
DOI:
10.1007/bf00399926
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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