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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 16  |  Page No.: 1994 - 2000

The Neuroprotective Effects of Progesterone on Experimental Diabetic Neuropathy in Rats

H.R. Sameni, M. Panahi, A. Sarkaki, G.H. Saki and M. Makvandi    

Abstract: This study was conducted to investigate the neuroprotective effects of progesterone (PROG) on electrophysiological and histomorphometrical alternation in STZ-induced diabetic neuropathy starting from 4 weeks after the diabetic induction. Thirty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (with 10 rats in each), control (nondiabetic), untreated diabetic and diabetic PROG-treated. Diabetes was induced in adult male rats by a single dose injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 55 mg kg-1, i.p.). In the PROG-treated group, 4 weeks after induce of diabetes; rats were treated with PROG (8 mg kg-1, i.p., every two days) for 6 weeks. Diabetic rats showed a significant reduction in motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV), mean myelinated fibers (MFs) diameter, axon diameter and myelin sheath thickness in the sciatic nerve after 6 weeks. In the untreated diabetic group endoneurial edema was observed in sciatic nerve and the numbers of MFs with infolding into the axoplasm, irregularity of fibers, myelin sheath with unclear boundaries and alteration in myelin compaction were also increased. Long-term treatment with PROG increased MNCV significantly and prevented all these abnormalities in treated diabetic rats. Our findings indicated that PROG as a therapeutic approach can protect neurophysiologic and histomorphologic alterations induced by peripheral diabetic neuropathy.

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