alexa Significance of glutathione-dependent antioxidant system in diabetes-induced embryonic malformations
Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics

Author(s): H Sakamaki, S Akazawa, M Ishibashi, K Izumino, H Takino

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Hyperglycemia-induced embryonic malformations may be due to an increase in radical formation and depletion of intracellular glutathione (GSH) in embryonic tissues. In the past, we have investigated the role of the glutathione-dependent antioxidant system and GSH on diabetes-related embryonic malformations. Embryos from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats on gestational day 11 showed a significantly higher frequency of embryonic malformations (neural lesions 21.5 vs. 2.8%, P<0.001; nonneural lesions 47.4 vs. 6.4%, P<0.001) and growth retardation than those of normal mothers. The formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), estimated by flow cytometry, was increased in isolated embryonic cells of diabetic rats on gestational day 11. The concentration of intracellular GSH in embryonic tissues of diabetic pregnant rats on day 11 was significantly lower than that of normal rats. The activity of y-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS), the rate-limiting GSH synthesizing enzyme, in embryos of diabetic rats was significantly low, associated with reduced expression of gamma-GCS mRNA. Administration of buthionine sulfoxamine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of gamma-GCS, to diabetic rats during the period of maximal teratogenic susceptibility (days 6-11 of gestation) reduced GSH by 46.7% and increased the frequency of neural lesions (62.1 vs. 21.5%, P<0.01) and nonneural lesions (79.3 vs. 47.4%, P<0.01). Administration of GSH ester to diabetic rats restored GSH concentration in the embryos and reduced the formation of ROS, leading to normalization of neural lesions (1.9 vs. 21.5%) and improvement in nonneural lesions (26.7 vs. 47.4%) and growth retardation. Administration of insulin in another group of pregnant rats during the same period resulted in complete normalization of neural lesions (4.3 vs. 21.5%), nonneural lesions (4.3 vs. 47.4%), and growth retardation with the restoration of GSH contents. Our results indicate that GSH depletion and impaired responsiveness of GSH-synthesizing enzyme to oxidative stress during organogenesis may have important roles in the development of embryonic malformations in diabetes.

This article was published in Diabetes and referenced in Journal of Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics

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