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Br J Biomed Sci. 2008;65(2):71-4.

The relationship between chronic glycaemic control and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Division of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.


This study compares the lipid peroxidation marker urinary thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and antioxidants including plasma alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), plasma (P-GSH-Px) and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (E-GSH-Px) activities, and plasma selenium levels in two groups of type 2 diabetic subjects (both n=20) with a disease duration of < or =2 (GP1) and 4-6 years (GP2), and non-diabetic age and gender-matched control subjects (CG, n=20). The mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of the groups was similar at 41(10) years. Fasting blood and midstream urine samples were obtained from diabetic and non-diabetic subjects attending the diabetic clinic and HbAlc, fructosamine, urine TBARS, total antioxidant (TAS) levels, P-GSH-Px, E-GSHPx and plasma selenium and vitamin E concentrations were measured. HbA1c (%) and fructosamine levels in the GP1 and GP2 diabetic subjects and the controls were 5.75 (0.67), 11.43 (2.01) and 4.33 (0.47), and 3.09 (0.57), 6.09 (1.15) and 1.67 (0.31), respectively (GP1 vs. GP2, GP1 vs. GC and GP2 vs. CG, all P < 0.001). Elevated urinary TBARS (micromol/mmol urinary creatinine) in the GP1, GP2 and GC groups were 2.47 (0.37), 3.73 (0.93) and 1.18 (0.24), respectively (GP1 vs. GP2, GP1 vs. GC and GP2 vs. CG, all P < 0.001). A significant correlation between HbA1c and TBARS was also noted (r2 = 0.894, P < 0.001) but only in the GP2 subjects. TAS levels were only decreased in the GP2 group compared to control values (0.59 [0.18] vs. 1.74 [0.21], P < 0.001). Plasma vitamin E concentrations (micromol/L) of 34.11 (3.31), 9.57 (2.20) and 39.01 (2.91) were observed in the GP1, GP2 and GC groups, respectively (GP1 vs. CG, P < 0.05 and GP1 vs. GP2 and GP vs. CG, both P < 0.001). E-GSH-Px (U/g Hb) and P-GSH-Px (U/L) activities in GP1, GP2 and CG groups were also decreased at 57.04 (4.31), 24.0 (8.94) and 67.6 (4.29), and 6.16 (1.56), 2.67 (0.47) and 8.72 (0.31), respectively (E-GSH-Px: CG vs. GP1, P < 0.01, CG vs. GP2 and GP1 vs. GP2, both P < 0.001; P-GSH-Px: CG vs. GP1, CG vs. GP2 and GP1 vs. GP2, all P < 0.001). Plasma selenium levels (miromol/L) were only significantly decreased in GP2 compared to both GP1 and CG values (0.49 [0.29] vs. 1.67 [0.80] vs. 1.79 [0.26], both P < 0.001). These observations support the suggestion that chronic hyperglycaemia can influence the generation of free radicals, which may lead ultimately to increased lipid peroxidation and depletion of antioxidants, and thereby enhanced oxidative stress in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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