Evidence of Altered Peripheral Nerve Function in a Rodent Model of Diet-Induced Prediabetes.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Biomedicines, 2020, 8, (9)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a debilitating complication of diabetes that affects >50% of patients. Recent evidence suggests that obesity and metabolic disease, which often precede diabetes diagnosis, may influence PN onset and severity. We examined this in a translationally relevant model of prediabetes induced by a cafeteria (CAF) diet in Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 15 CAF versus n = 15 control). Neuropathy phenotyping included nerve conduction, tactile sensitivity, intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) and nerve excitability testing, an in vivo measure of ion channel function and membrane potential. Metabolic phenotyping included body composition, blood glucose and lipids, plasma hormones and inflammatory cytokines. After 13 weeks diet, CAF-fed rats demonstrated prediabetes with significantly elevated fasting blood glucose, insulin and impaired glucose tolerance as well as obesity and dyslipidemia. Nerve conduction, tactile sensitivity and IENFD did not differ; however, superexcitability was significantly increased in CAF-fed rats. Mathematical modeling demonstrated this was consistent with a reduction in sodium-potassium pump current. Moreover, superexcitability correlated positively with insulin resistance and adiposity, and negatively with fasting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In conclusion, prediabetic rats over-consuming processed, palatable foods demonstrated altered nerve function that preceded overt PN. This work provides a relevant model for pathophysiological investigation of diabetic complications.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: