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J Toxicol Sci. 2008 Oct;33(4):459-72.

Prevention of incipient diabetic cardiomyopathy by high-dose thiamine.

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Laboratory of Pharmacotherapy, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan.


Diabetic cardiomyopathy can progress toward overt heart failure with increased mortality. The hexosamine biosynthesis pathway has been implicated in signaling for fibrosis by the kidney. Thiamine (vitamin B(1)) is an indispensable coenzyme and required at intracellular glucose metabolism. In this study, we assessed if decrease of flux through the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway induced by high-dose thiamine therapy counteracts diabetes-induced cardiac fibrosis. The diabetes model used was the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Normal control and diabetic rats were studied for 2 weeks with and without thiamine, and followings were analyzed; plasma biochemicals (total cholesterol and triglycerides), morphological changes, mRNA abundance relevant to cardiac failure (brain natriuretic peptide) and fibrosis (transforming growth factor-beta1, thrombospondine, fibronectin, plasminogen activator-I and connective tissue growth factor) as well as and matrix metalloproteinase activity were investigated. Thiamine repletion prevented diabetes-induced cardiac fibrosis without changes in plasma glucose concentration. This was achieved by prevention of thiamine depletion, increased pro-fibrotic mRNA abundance and decreased metalloproteinase activity in the heart of diabetic rats. O-glycosylated protein was significantly higher in the left ventricular of diabetic rats compared to control rats, which was decreased by thiamine administration. Thiamine repletion prevented diabetes-induced cardiac fibrosis in experimental diabetes, probably by suppression of hexosamine biosynthesis pathway.

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