Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation and anti-oxidant enzyme activities in diabetic rats

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2002 Apr;29(4):281-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1681.2002.03642.x.


1. Oxidative damage has been suggested to be a contributory factor in the development and complications of diabetes. Recently, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) has gained considerable interest as an anti-oxidant. Various studies have indicated the anti- oxidant effects of ALA and its reduced form dihydrolipoic acid. Therefore, it appears that these compounds have important therapeutic potential in conditions where oxidative stress is involved. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of ALA supplementation on lipid peroxidation and anti-oxidant enzyme activities in various tissues in diabetic rats. 2. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (STZ) injection in the two groups of rats to be supplemented and not to be supplemented with ALA. Another group of rats, which received saline injection, formed the control group. After 5 weeks of diabetes, rats were killed. In order to assess the redox status of various organs in the diabetic and control rats, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and glutathione (GSH) levels, as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (G-Px) and glutathione reductase (G-Red) activities were determined in the liver, pancreas and kidney. 3. In both diabetic groups, TBARS levels and SOD activity were increased in the liver and pancreas, G-Px and G-Red activities were increased in the kidney and GSH levels were decreased in all organs compared with controls. In the ALA- supplemented group, TBARS levels were decreased, GSH levels were increased in the liver and pancreas, SOD activity was decreased in the liver, G-Px activity remained unchanged in all tissues and G-Red activity was increased in the pancreas compared with the diabetic group that did not receive ALA supplementation. 4. In conclusion, ALA supplementation has disparate effects on the redox status of different organs. These data are not sufficient for confirmation the beneficial effects of ALA supplementation on the redox status of various organs in diabetic rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase