Biochemistry and molecular cell biology of diabetic complications

Nature. 2001 Dec 13;414(6865):813-20. doi: 10.1038/414813a.


Diabetes-specific microvascular disease is a leading cause of blindness, renal failure and nerve damage, and diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis leads to increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and limb amputation. Four main molecular mechanisms have been implicated in glucose-mediated vascular damage. All seem to reflect a single hyperglycaemia-induced process of overproduction of superoxide by the mitochondrial electron-transport chain. This integrating paradigm provides a new conceptual framework for future research and drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / pathology
  • Forecasting
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism
  • Hexosamines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Hyperglycemia / pathology
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Hexosamines
  • Protein Kinase C