Nitrosative stress and peripheral diabetic neuropathy in leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice

Igor Vareniuk, Ivan A. Pavlov, Viktor R. Drel, Valeriy V. Lyzogubov, Olga Ilnytska, Seth R. Bell, Jyoti Tibrewala, John Taylor Groves, Irina G. Obrosova

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Nitrosative stress contributes to nerve conduction slowing, thermal hypoalgesia, and impaired nitrergic innervation in animal models of Type 1 diabetes. The role for reactive nitrogen species in Type 2 diabetes-associated neuropathy remains unexplored. This study evaluated the role for nitrosative stress in functional and structural neuropathic changes in ob/ob mice, a model of Type 2 diabetes with mild hyperglycemia and obesity. Two structurally diverse peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts, Fe(III) tetrakis-2-(N-triethylene glycol monomethyl ether)-pyridyl porphyrin (FP15) and Fe(III) tetra-mesitylporphyrin octasulfonate (FeTMPS), were administered to control and 8-week-old ob/ob mice for 3 weeks at the doses of 5 mg kg- 1 day- 1 (FP15) and 5 and 10 mg kg- 1 day- 1 (FeTMPS). The 11-week-old ob/ob mice developed motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) and hind-limb digital sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) deficits, thermal hypoalgesia, tactile allodynia, and a remarkable (∼ 78%) loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers. They also had increased nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) immunofluorescence in the sciatic nerve, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglion neurons. Treatment with two structurally diverse peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts was associated with restoration of normal MNCV and SNCV, and alleviation of thermal hypoalgesia. Tactile response thresholds increased in response to peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst treatment, but still remained ∼ 2.7- to 3.2-fold lower compared with non-diabetic controls. Intraepidermal nerve fiber loss was not alleviated by either FP15 or FeTMPS. Nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) immunofluorescence in sciatic nerve, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglia of peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst-treated ob/ob mice were essentially normal. In conclusion, nitrosative stress plays an important role in functional abnormalities associated with large motor, large sensory, and small sensory fiber neuropathy, but not in small sensory nerve fiber degeneration, in this animal model. Peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts alleviate Type 2 diabetes-associated sensory nerve dysfunction, likely by mechanism(s) not involving arrest of degenerative changes or enhanced regeneration of small sensory nerve fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-436
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


  • Intraepidermal nerve fiber loss
  • MNCV
  • Nitrosative stress
  • Peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts
  • SNCV
  • Tactile allodynia
  • Thermal hypoalgesia
  • ob/ob mouse


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