Nicotinamide reverses neurological and neurovascular deficits in streptozotocin-diabetic rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • F Li
  • VR Drel
  • OI Abatan
  • H Kim
  • D Burnett
  • D Larkin
  • IG Obrosova


In diabetes, activation of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is an important effector of oxidative-nitrosative injury, which contributes to the development of experimental diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). However, the potential toxicity of complete PARP inhibition necessitates the utilization of weaker PARP inhibitors with additional therapeutic properties. Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) is a weak PARP inhibitor, antioxidant, and calcium modulator and can improve energy status and inhibit cell death in ischemic tissues. We report the dose-dependent effects of nicotinamide in an established model of early DPN. Control and streptozotocin-diabetic rats were treated with 200 to 400 mg/kg/day nicotinamide (i.p.) for 2 weeks after 2 weeks of untreated diabetes. Sciatic endoneurial nutritive blood flow was measured by microelectrode polarography and hydrogen clearance, and sciatic motor and hind-limb digital sensory nerve conduction velocities and thermal and mechanical algesia were measured by standard electrophysiological and behavioral tests. Malondialdehyde plus 4-hydroxyalkenal concentration in the sciatic nerve and amino acid-(4)-hydroxynonenal adduct and poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated protein expression in human Schwann cells were assessed by a colorimetric method with N-methyl-2-phenyl indole and Western blot analysis, respectively. Nicotinamide corrected increased sciatic nerve lipid peroxidation in concert with nerve perfusion deficits and dose-dependently attenuated nerve conduction slowing, as well as mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. Nicotinamide (25 mM) prevented high (30 mM) glucose-induced overexpression of amino acid-(4)-hydroxynonenal adducts and poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated proteins in human Schwann cells. In conclusion, nicotinamide deserves consideration as an attractive, nontoxic therapy for the treatment of DPN.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-464
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2006

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