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Ultrastruct Pathol. 2012 Aug;36(4):222-7. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2012.662268. Epub 2012 May 10.

Histopathological study of evening primrose oil effects on experimental diabetic neuropathy.

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Assiut University Hospital, Department of Pathology, Assiut, Egypt.


Diabetic polyneuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus and the most frequent neuropathy worldwide.


This study was designed to investigate the possible beneficial effects of evening primrose oil (EPO) on histopathological changes of sciatic nerves in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.


The rats were randomly allotted into three experimental groups: A (control), B (diabetic untreated), and C (diabetic treated with EPO); each group contained 10 animals. Groups B and C received streptozotocin (STZ) to induce diabetes. The rats in group C were given EPO for 2 weeks after 6 weeks of STZ injection. Blood and tissue samples were obtained for biochemical and histopathological investigation.


STZ-treated diabetic rats showed reduction of the size of islets of Langerhans, fatty degeneration in the pancreatic acini with dilation, irregularity, and increased thickness of blood vessels. Electron micrography of sciatic nerves of diabetic rats showed multiple vaculations and partial separation of myelinated nerve fibers with axonal atrophy, endoneural edema, and increased collagen fibers. Compared with diabetic rats, EPO induced partial recovery from diabetes-induced pancreatic and nerve damage.


Histologic evaluation of the tissues in diabetic animals treated with EPO showed fewer morphologic alterations with significant decrease of myelin breakdown. Furthermore, the ultrastructural features of axons showed partial improvement. It is believed that further preclinical research into the utility of EPO may indicate its usefulness as a potential treatment on peripheral neuropathy in STZ-induced diabetic rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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