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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Oct;1792(10):931-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2008.11.005. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Diabetes and the peripheral nerve.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808, USA.


Diabetes-induced damage to peripheral nerve culminates in development of peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN), one of the most devastating complications of diabetes mellitus and a leading cause of foot amputation. The pathogenesis of PDN occurs as a consequence of complex interactions among multiple hyperglycemia-initiated mechanisms, impaired insulin signaling, inflammation, hypertension, and disturbances of fatty acid and lipid metabolism. This review describes experimental new findings in animal and cell culture models as well as clinical data suggesting the importance of 1) previously established hyperglycemia-initiated mechanisms such as increased aldose reductase activity, non-enzymatic glycation/glycooxidation, activation of protein kinase C, 2) oxidative-nitrosative stress and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation; 3) mitogen-activated protein kinase and cyclooxygenase-2 activation, impaired Ca(++) homeostasis and signaling, and several other mechanisms, in PDN.

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