Abnormalities of liver cells in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

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Jitnapar Thongleart
Sureepon Nakaung
Sutisa Nudmamud-Thanoi
Samur Thanoi


Background : Diabetes is a major health problem that affects population worldwide. Prevalence of diabetes in Thai population dramatically increases every year. Diabetes mellitus can cause structural changes and dysfunctions of the liver cells as well as affecting the pathway of protein synthesizes in the liver associated with DNA synthesis.

Objective : This study aimed to evaluate structural changes and protein and DNA contents in liver cell (hepatocyte) of diabetic rats.

Methods : Ma le Sprague Dawley rats induced diabetes by receiving streptozotocin (STZ) were studied for histopathology by Hematoxylin & Eosin staining and counted by ImageJ program. Studies of protein damage were performed
by Bromophenol blue staining and DNA damage by Feulgen staining. Cell intensities were measured and calculated in comparison with the control.

Results : Qualitative study demonstrated abnormal morphologies in hepatocyte such as unclear cell boundaries and destroyed cytoplasm in diabeticinduced rats. In this quantitative study, the percentage of the number of normal hepatocytes was significantly decreased in diabetic-induced rats when compared with the control. Numerically, the relative optical density of protein contents was slightly increased, while DNA contents was decreased in hepatocytes of diabetic-induced rats but these just failed to reach significant when compared to the control.

Conclusion : This study demonstrates structural and functional changes in hepatocytes of diabetic rats induced by streptozotocin (STZ). These could also reflect abnormal liver function in human with diabetes.

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