Thiamine corrects delayed replication and decreases production of lactate and advanced glycation end-products in bovine retinal and human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured under high glucose conditions

Diabetologia. 1996 Nov;39(11):1263-8. doi: 10.1007/s001250050568.


This study aimed at verifying whether thiamine, a co-enzyme which decreases intracellular glycolysis metabolites by allowing pyruvate and glyceraldheyde 3-phosphate to enter the Krebs cycle and the pentose-phosphate shunt, respectively, corrects delayed replication caused by high glucose concentrations in cultured human umbilical vein (HUVEC) and bovine retinal endothelial cells (BREC). After incubation in physiological (5.6 mmol/l) or high (28.0 mmol/l) glucose with or without 150 mumol/l thiamine, cells were counted and proliferation assessed by mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity. Lactate was measured in both cell types as an index of glycolytic activity and fluorescent advanced glycosylation end-products (AGE) concentration was determined in the HUVEC lysate. Both cell counts and proliferation assays in either of the cell types confirmed the impairment to cell replication induced by high glucose. When thiamine was added to cells kept under high glucose conditions, the number of surviving cells was significantly increased and the reduced cell proliferation appeared to be corrected. Lactate assays confirmed the increased production of this metabolite by BREC and HUVEC in high glucose, which was reduced by thiamine. Fluorescent AGE determination showed that thiamine may prevent non-enzymatic glycation in HUVEC. Thiamine restores cell replication, decreases the glycolytic flux and prevents fluorescent AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose, suggesting that abnormal levels of glycolytic metabolite(s) may damage cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cell Count / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / drug effects
  • Endothelium / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Glucose*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / biosynthesis*
  • Glycosylation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / drug effects
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Thiamine / pharmacology*
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glucose
  • Thiamine