Daily insulin treatment relieves long-term hyperalgesia in streptozocin diabetic rats

Neuroreport. 1996 Aug 12;7(12):1922-4. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199608120-00010.


Painful neuropathy is common in human diabetes. In rats, experimental diabetes results in altered pain sensitivity. We examined the effect of chronic insulin treatment on diabetes-induced hyperalgesia in streptozocin diabetic rats. A 20-week period of diabetes resulted in a 62% decrease in paw withdrawal thresholds compared with age-matched normal rats. Daily injections of insulin progressively reversed mechanical hyperalgesia to normal values parallel to the correction of hyperglycaemia. When the treatment was stopped, mechanical hyperalgesia reappeared, but never reached the degree of hyperalgesia observed before insulin treatment, suggesting that indirect mechanisms underlie the effect of normoglycaemia on nociception. The present data suggest that appropriate blood glucose control can help relieve pain in long-term diabetes through indirect mechanisms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Hyperalgesia / drug therapy*
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Streptozocin / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Insulin
  • Streptozocin