PARP inhibition or gene deficiency counteracts intraepidermal nerve fiber loss and neuropathic pain in advanced diabetic neuropathy

Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Mar 15;44(6):972-81. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2007.09.013. Epub 2007 Oct 3.


Evidence that poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activation plays an important role in diabetic complications is emerging. This study evaluated the role of PARP in rat and mouse models of advanced diabetic neuropathy. The orally active PARP inhibitor 10-(4-methylpiperazin-1-ylmethyl)-2H-7-oxa-1,2-diaza-benzo[de]anthracen-3-one (GPI-15427; formulated as a mesilate salt, 30 mg kg(-1) day(-1) in the drinking water for 10 weeks after the first 2 weeks without treatment) at least partially prevented PARP activation in peripheral nerve and DRG neurons, as well as thermal hypoalgesia, mechanical hyperalgesia, tactile allodynia, exaggerated response to formalin, and, most importantly, intraepidermal nerve fiber degeneration in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. These findings are consistent with the lack of small sensory nerve fiber dysfunction in diabetic PARP -/- mice. Furthermore, whereas diabetic PARP +/+ mice displayed approximately 46% intraepidermal nerve fiber loss, diabetic PARP -/- mice retained completely normal intraepidermal nerve fiber density. In conclusion, PARP activation is an important contributor to intraepidermal nerve fiber degeneration and functional changes associated with advanced Type 1 diabetic neuropathy. The results support a rationale for the development of potent and low-toxicity PARP inhibitors and PARP inhibitor-containing combination therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / prevention & control*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia / prevention & control*
  • Organic Chemicals / therapeutic use
  • Peripheral Nerves / drug effects*
  • Peripheral Nerves / pathology
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / drug effects
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin / innervation


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • GPI 15427
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases