Spinal capillary changes in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

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Kanokporn Plaengrit
Sirinush Sricharoenvej
Passara Lanlua


Background : Diabetic microangiopathy strongly associates with the developing complication of the nervous system, as in the spinal cord. The developments of spinal cord infarction, which is relevant to physical mobility impairment and loss of sensation in diabetic patients, have been reported. Thus, an insight investigation on spinal microvascular changes needed to be concentrated.

Objective : This study aimed to investigate the alterations of spinal capillaries in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats by using light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Methods : Seventeen male Sprague-Dawley rats, 200 - 270 g, 5-8 weeks, were used. The animals were divided into two groups, namely: control and STZinduced diabetic groups. All rats were sacrificed at 24 weeks after the induction, and the rat spinal cords were removed and prepared for LM and TEM.

Results : During the diabetic stage, the characteristics of spinal capillaries were the same in all spinal cord levels. The several organelle deteriorations, indicating apoptotic features, were presented in both endothelial cells and pericytes. The cytoplasmic protrusion and disrupted tight junction of endothelial cells were observed. Remarkably, the basement membrane was marked thickness with increased collagen deposition in the diabetic vessel.

Conclusion : This study indicates that diabetes induced morphological changes of the spinal capillaries. This knowledge is beneficial for early detection and prevention of further pathological progression in diabetic patients.

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