Effects of anti-oxidant treatment on sciatic nerve dysfunction in streptozotocin-diabetic rats; comparison with essential fatty acids

Diabetologia. 1995 Feb;38(2):129-34. doi: 10.1007/BF00400086.


In Study 1, the effects of treatment of streptozotocin-diabetic rats with the antioxidants, probucol or vitamin E were compared. Untreated diabetic rats showed a reduction of 45% (p < 0.01) in nerve laser Doppler flux, which was used as an index of nerve blood flow. In diabetic rats treated with either probucol or vitamin E nerve Doppler flux was reduced by only 13 or 16%, respectively (p < 0.01 for either compared to untreated diabetic rats). A second study examined the effects of treatment with evening primrose oil either alone or in combination with probucol. Reduced nerve Doppler flux was reproduced in untreated diabetic rats (47%; p < 0.01). In parallel diabetic groups, nerve Doppler flux was reduced by only 14% with evening primrose oil alone and by 8% with evening primrose oil plus probucol (both p < 0.01 vs untreated diabetic rats). Both treatments were also associated with marked attenuation of motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity deficits. Measurements on plasma from rats showed normalisation of triglyceride levels by probucol treatment without an effect on those of cholesterol in Study 1. In Study 2, the converse was true for evening primrose oil treatment, whilst the combined treatment lowered both plasma triglycerides and cholesterol. This work indicates similar effects of antioxidants and evening primrose oil against reduced nerve Doppler flux and conduction velocity in diabetic rats, with dissimilar actions on plasma triglycerides and cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / therapeutic use
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Male
  • Neural Conduction / drug effects
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Plant Oils
  • Probucol / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sciatic Nerve / drug effects*
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Vitamin E
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Probucol