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Diabetes. 1997 Feb;46(2):301-6.

Supplemental myo-inositol prevents L-fucose-induced diabetic neuropathy.

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Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48236, USA.


Nerve myo-inositol depletion, which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute experimental diabetic neuropathy, can be reproduced in normal rats by feeding diets enriched in L-fucose, a competitive inhibitor of sodium-dependent myo-inositol transport. Previously, we reported that L-fucose feeding for 6 weeks reproduces the effect of experimental diabetes on nerve Na+-K+-ATPase activity and conduction velocity, which can be prevented by simultaneous dietary myo-inositol supplementation. To further validate this model of myo-inositol depletion, we examined the effects of long-term (24-week) L-fucose feeding and dietary myo-inositol supplementation on nerve Na+-K+-ATPase, nerve conduction velocity, and myelinated nerve fiber pathology. After 24 weeks of L-fucose enriched (10 or 20%) diets, nerve myo-inositol levels and Na+-K+-ATPase activity decreased significantly (P < 0.05) and were associated with a 25-30% reduction in nerve conduction velocity, all of which were completely prevented by 1% dietary myo-inositol. Twenty percent L-fucose diet resulted in significant axonal atrophy, paranodal swelling (P < 0.001), and paranodal demyelination (P < 0.005), without increasing Wallerian degeneration or nerve fiber loss, a pattern qualitatively similar to that seen in early murine diabetic neuropathy. Dietary myo-inositol supplementation prevented these structural changes and increased nodal remyelination, supporting a role of myo-inositol depletion in the genesis of early diabetic neuropathy. The L-fucose model system may therefore serve as an experimental tool to elucidate the pathophysiological role of isolated myo-inositol depletion and its consequences in the multifactorial pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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