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J Endod. 2008 Oct;34(10):1211-4. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2008.07.010.

Diabetes induces metabolic alterations in dental pulp.

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Centro de Pesquisa em Biologia Oral - Departamento de Biomateriais e Bioquímica Oral, School of Dentistry, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Diabetes can interfere in tissue nutrition and can impair dental pulp metabolism. This disease causes oxidative stress in cells and tissues. However, little is known about the antioxidant system in the dental pulp of diabetics. Thus, it would be of importance to study this system in this tissue in order to verify possible alterations indicative of oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate some parameters of antioxidant system of the dental pulp of healthy (n = 8) and diabetic rats (n = 8). Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin in rats. Six weeks after diabetes induction, a pool of the dental pulp of the 4 incisors of each rat (healthy and diabetic) was used for the determination of total protein and sialic acid concentrations and catalase and peroxidase activities. Data were compared by a Student t test (p <or= 0.05). Dental pulps from both groups presented similar total protein concentrations and peroxidase activity. Dental pulps of diabetic rats exhibited significantly lower free, conjugated, and total sialic acid concentrations than those of control tissues. Catalase activity in diabetic dental pulps was significantly enhanced in comparison with that of control pulps. The result of the present study is indicative of oxidative stress in the dental pulp caused by diabetes. The increase of catalase activity and the reduction of sialic acid could be resultant of reactive oxygen species production.

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