Endoneurial blood flow and oxygen tension in the sciatic nerves of rats with experimental diabetic neuropathy

R. R. Tuck, J. D. Schmelzer, P. A. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Scopus citations


Summary: Endoneurial hypoxia has been postulated to be important in the pathogenesis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and may be due to reduced nerve blood flow. Neither blood flow nor oxygen tension have previously been measured in peripheral nerve in diabetic neuropathy. We have therefore measured both nerve blood flow and endoneurial oxygen tension in the sciatic nerves of 8 rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes for four months, and in 8 age-matched controls. In 7 of the diabetic animals mean nerve blood flow was 8.7± 1.3 ml min-1 100g-1 which is significantly less than mean nerve blood flow in the controls (13.08 ± 0.8 ml min-1 100g-1; P < 0.01). In one diabetic animal, nerve blood flow was too low to be accurately measured. The reduction in nerve blood flow in diabetic neuropathy is due to an increase in resistance to flow which may be due to microangiopathy and to blood hyperviscosity. Endoneurial oxygen tension was also significantly reduced in experimental diabetic neuropathy in which 60 per cent of the oxygen measurements were less than 25 mmHg, compared with 19 per cent in the controls. Nerve blood flow was also measured in rats with experimental galactose neuropathy in which there is more marked sugar-alcohol accumulation, endoneurial oedema and elevation of endoneurial fluid pressure than in experimental diabetic neuropathy. The results obtained in this neuropathy suggest that the reduction in nerve blood flow which occurs in experimental diabetic neuropathy is due largely to factors other than sugar-alcohol accumulation in nerve. We postulate that endoneurial hypoxia may produce many of the observed morphological and biochemical changes in experimental diabetic neuropathy

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-950
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Endoneurial blood flow and oxygen tension in the sciatic nerves of rats with experimental diabetic neuropathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this