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Kiyokazu Ozaki, Yui Terayama, Tetsuro Matsuura; Extended Duration of Hyperglycemia Result in Human-Like Corneal Nerve Lesions in Mice With Alloxan- and Streptozotocin-Induced Type 1 Diabetes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(15):5868-5875. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-25693.
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Previous experimental studies assessing corneal nerves as a measure of the severity of diabetic peripheral neuropathy have yielded discordant results; this may have been due to the effect of the short duration of the induced diabetes. We investigated whether increases in the duration of hyperglycemia result in the development of corneal lesions in a mouse model of alloxan (AL)- or streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes. We further determined whether corneal nerve fiber density, intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD), and sural nerve morphology can be used as morphologic markers of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in rodent models.
A total of 30 female ICR mice were divided into three groups: those with STZ-induced (STZ group) and AL-induced (AL group) diabetes, and a control group. Hyperglycemia was maintained in diabetic mice for 35 weeks. Animals were euthanized at 41 weeks of age.
Subbasal nerve plexus density (SBNPD) and terminal epithelial nerve density (TEND) in the cornea, as well as IENFD, were significantly lower, and mean sural nerve axon sizes were smaller in mice in the STZ and AL groups than in the control group. There were significant correlations between IENFD and SBNPD, and between IENFD and TEND.
These results indicate that the TEND and SBNTD of the cornea may be useful morphologic markers for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
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