Whereas the important role of free radicals in diabetes-associated complications is well established, the contributions of the highly reactive oxidant peroxynitrite have not been properly explored. The present study used a pharmacological approach to evaluate the role of peroxynitrite in peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Control and STZ-diabetic mice were maintained with or without treatment with the potent peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst Fe(III) tetramesitylporphyrin octasulfonate (FeTMPS), at doses of 5 or 10 mg/kg/day in the drinking water for 3 weeks after an initial 3 weeks without treatment. Mice with a 6-week duration of diabetes developed clearly manifest motor (MNCV) and sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) deficits, thermal hypoalgesia (paw withdrawal, tail-flick, and hot plate tests), mechanical hypoalgesia (tail pressure Randall-Sellito test), tactile allodynia (flexible von Frey filament test), and ∼44% loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers. They also had increased nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) immunofluorescence in sciatic nerve, grey matter of the spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglion neurons. FeTMPS treatment alleviated or essentially corrected (at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day) MNCV and SNCV deficits, and was associated with less severe small sensory nerve fiber dysfunction and degeneration. Nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) immunofluorescence in sciatic nerve, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglion neurons in peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst-treated diabetic mice was markedly reduced. In conclusion, peroxynitrite contributes to large motor, large sensory, and small sensory fiber neuropathy in streptozotocin-diabetic mice. The findings provide rationale for development of potent peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
- Nerve conduction
- Nitrosative stress
- Peripheral diabetic neuropathy
- Peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts
- Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase
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