AbstractUntreated streptozotocin-diabetic (7 weeks duration) rats showed reductions (all p < 0.01; percentages in brackets) in motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity (MNCV; 14%, SNCV; 17%) and in sciatic nerve contents of nerve growth factor (NGF; 57%), substance P (SP; 53%) and neuropeptide Y (NPY; 39%). Treatment with a gamma-linolenic acid-alpha-lipoic acid conjugate (GLA-LA; 35 mg x day(-1) x rat(-1)) attenuated (p < 0.05) these reductions to MNCV (8%), SNCV (5%), NGF (19%), SP (23%), NPY (20%), such that the values in GLA-LA-treated diabetic rats did not differ significantly from those of control non-diabetic animals. Treatment with alpha-lipoic acid alone at 100 mg/kg i.p. was without effect on these variables except for NGF (33% reduction, p < 0.05) and treatment with the antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene (1.5% dietary supplement) did not affect any deficits. These data show that GLA-LA is effective in improving both electrophysiological and neurochemical correlates of experimental diabetic neuropathy.
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