Background: In the present study we tested the hypothesis that progression of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes (14-days to 28-days) would produce renal and vascular dysfunction that correlate with altered p38- mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38-MAPK) phosphorylation in kidneys and thoracic aorta. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats (350-400 g) were randomized into three groups: sham (N = 6), 14-days diabetic (N = 6) and 28-days diabetic rats (N = 6). Diabetes was induced using a single tail vein injection of STZ (60 mg/kg, I.V.) on the first day. Rats were monitored for 28 days and food, water intake and plasma glucose levels were noted. At both 14-days and 28-days post diabetes blood samples were collected and kidney cortex, medulla and aorta were harvested from each rat. Results: The diabetic rats lost body weight at both 14-days (-10%) and 28-days (-13%) more significantly as compared to sham (+10%) group. Glucose levels were significantly elevated in the diabetic rats at both 14-days and 28-days post-STZ administration. Renal dysfunction as evidenced by renal hypertrophy, increased plasma creatinine concentration and reduced renal blood flow was observed in 14-days and 28-days diabetes. Vascular dysfunction as evidenced by decreased carotid blood flow was observed in 14-days and 28-days diabetes. We observed an up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), prepro endothelin-1 (preproET-1) and phosphorylated p38-MAPK in thoracic aorta and kidney cortex but not in kidney medulla in 28-days diabetes group. Conclusion: The study provides evidence that diabetes produces vascular and renal dysfunction with a profound effect on signaling mechanisms at later stage of diabetes. Â© 2005 Chen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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