Peripheral Hypoglycaemic Neuropathy in Type 1 Diabetic Rats : Morphologic and Metabolic Studies
Hyperglycaemia caused by insulin deficiency is believed to play a major role in the de-velopment of neuropathy in diabetic patients. The clinical and pathological features of diabetic neuropathy vary considerably, although sensory and autonomic dysfunctions are the most common characteristics. Normalisation of the blood glucose level by ef-fective insulin treatment decreases the incidence of diabetic neuropathy in patients. However, intensive insulin therapy may result in more frequent hypoglycaemic epi-sodes than are provoked by less ambitious diabetes control. Neuropathy might also be induced by severe hypoglycaemia in diabetes or insulinoma. Accordingly, it seems that the diversity in clinical symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may be due to the combined effects of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia. Based on that assumption, the general aim of this project was to study the relationship between severe hypoglycaemia and pe-ripheral neuropathy in diabetic rats. To understand how the development of neuropathy is related to glycaemic control, we needed to be aware of the glucose dynamics in the animal model that we used. The aim was to ascertain whether the diabetic rats were similar to type 1 diabetic patients with regard to such dynamics. To achieve that goal, we used a MiniMed continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS®) to measure sub-cutaneous glucose in freely moving rats over a period of 72 hours. The glucose monitor worked well, and it showed that the insulin-treated diabetic BB/Wor rats with a hyper-glycaemic insulin regimen have a glycaemic status similar to that of type 1 diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control. The diabetic rats with a hypoglycaemic regimen generally had low blood glucose levels.Prolonged hypoglycaemia led to axonal de- and regeneration of large myelinated fibres in vagus nerve destined to the laryngeal muscle. Axonal de- and regeneration was also observed in the gastrocnemius and sural nerves, although the frequency of degeneration was much lower in the sural nerve. Small myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibres were normal in these nerves. These results suggest that hypoglycaemia preferentially damages muscle-related nerve fibres. In contrast, in the diabetic rats exposed to pro-longed hyperglycaemia, only the sural nerve exhibited decreased myelinated fibre diameter in the absence of obvious axonal degeneration.In situ glucose measurements by microdialysis showed that the glucose concentrations in blood and subcutaneous tissue were similar in healthy, diabetic hyperglycaemic, and diabetic hypoglycaemic rats. In the healthy and hyperglycaemic animals, the lowest glucose level was found in the peripheral nerve. Moreover, in controls, the glucose level was lower in muscle than in blood. In hypoglycaemic rats, there were no signifi-cant differences in glucose concentrations between different tissues.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:MEDICINE; Morphology, cell biology, pathology; Cell biology; Neurobiology; Diabetes Mellitu; Hypoglycaemia; Neuropathy; Morphology; Microdialysis; Glucose level
Date of Publication:01/01/2006