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Free Radic Biol Med. 1995 May;18(5):833-40.

The effects of desferrioxamine and ascorbate on oxidative stress in the streptozotocin diabetic rat.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Queen's University of Belfast, UK.


Oxidative stress and protein glycation are closely related processes that may contribute to the development of complications in diabetes mellitus. Treatment with antioxidants could protect against these processes at a biochemical level, and we have therefore investigated the effects of ascorbate and desferrioxamine treatment in the streptozotocin diabetic rat. Diabetic animals were given ascorbate 1 g/l in drinking water or desferrioxamine 6 mg/kg/day by subcutaneous injection and were killed after 6 weeks. In diabetic animals, oxidative stress was increased as shown by increased levels of conjugated dienes (CD) in plasma and malondialdehyde (MDA) in plasma, erythrocyte membranes, and urine. In addition, there was depletion of the nutritional antioxidants ascorbate, alpha-tocopherol, and retinol. Insulin treatment returned all of these parameters to normal. Ascorbate supplementation or desferrioxamine treatment alone failed to reduce oxidative stress, but a combination of both interventions restored MDA, CD, and antioxidant vitamins to control values. Both ascorbate and desferrioxamine also reduced HbA1c and glycated albumin levels. Treatment with antioxidants can reduce both oxidative stress and protein glycation and may help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic complications. However, ascorbate can have both prooxidant and antioxidant effects in vivo, and its use in pharmacological doses should be approached with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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