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Indian J Exp Biol. 2013 Jan;51(1):56-64.

Benefits of early glycemic control by insulin on sensory neuropathy and cataract in diabetic rats.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr.Mohan's Diabetes Specialties Centre & IDF Centre of Education, Gopalapuram, Chennai 600 086, India.


While there is an emphasis on the early glycemic control for its long-term benefits in preventing microvascular complications of diabetes, the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the long-lasting effects are not clearly understood. Therefore the impact of early insulin (EI) versus late insulin (LI) treatment on diabetic sensory neuropathy and cataract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar male rats were evaluated. EI group received insulin (2.5 IU/animal, once daily) treatment from day 1 to 90 while LI group received insulin from day 60 to 90. Early insulin treatment significantly reduced the biochemical markers like glucose, triglyceride, glycated hemoglobin, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, advanced glycation end products and ratio of reduced glutathione and oxidized glutathione in diabetic rats. The late insulin treatment failed to resist the biochemical changes in diabetic rats. Diabetic rats developed sensory neuropathy as evidenced by mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia and showed a higher incidence and severity of cataract as revealed by slit lamp examination. Early insulin treatment protected the rats from the development of neuropathy and cataract, but late insulin administration failed to do so. The results demonstrate the benefits of early glycemic control in preventing neuropathy and cataract development in diabetic rats.

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