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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 May;70(5):651-9.

Normal blood flow but lower oxygen tension in diabetes of young rats: microenvironment and the influence of sympathectomy.

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Department of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada.


Studies of rats with experimental streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes at 4 months have identified sciatic nerve trunk oligemia and hypoxia, but it is uncertain how early these abnormalities develop or which develops first. We studied young (4-week-old) rats after 6 or 16 weeks of STZ-induced diabetes (or after citrate buffer injection in controls) by recording multi-fiber conduction in three different nerve territories and by measuring sciatic endoneurial blood flow (NBF) and oxygen tension (PnO2) at end point. To evaluate the impact of sympathectomy on this diabetic model, separate animal groups were treated for 5 weeks with guanethidine monosulfate given at the onset of diabetes (group 1, end point 6 weeks) or after 6 weeks of diabetes (group 2, end point 16 weeks). Diabetes was associated with deficits in sensory and motor caudal conduction and increased resistance to ischemic conduction failure (RICF). NBF was comparable to control animals at both time points and was within the published normal range of NBF. In contrast, oxygen tensions were shifted to lower values in diabetic animals. Sympathectomy was associated with blunting of the RICF increase in group 2 but worsened caudal sensory conduction despite evidence of modest improvement in sciatic nerve oxygenation. Our findings support the concept that neuropathy occurs early in diabetes and that hypoxia develops before oligemia. Sympathectomy did not benefit this diabetic model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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