Increased sciatic nerve blood flow in diabetic rats: Assessment by 'molecular' vs. particulate microspheres

Kathy Chang, Yasuo Ido, Wanda LeJeune, Joseph R. Williamson, Ronald G. Tilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Sciatic nerve blood flow in diabetic rats is typically increased or unchanged when assessed by the reference sample microsphere method in our laboratory. In contrast, blood flow is generally reported to be decreased ~50% when assessed with laser Doppler flowmetry or hydrogen clearance polarography. To address concerns that increased blood flow observed with microspheres might be anomalous because of their particulate nature and/or because insufficient numbers of microspheres are captured in the nerve, a plasma-soluble 'molecular microsphere' ([3H]desmethylimipramine, mol wt = 266) and 11.3-μm 153Gd-labeled microspheres were injected sequentially to assess blood flow in rats with streptozotocin diabetes of 2-4 wk duration. Nerve blood flows in diabetic rats were increased 1.5- to 2-fold (vs. control rats) with both tracers; these increases were prevented by tolrestat, an inhibitor of aldose reductase. These observations indicate that blood flow in sciatic nerve (like that in retina and kidney) is increased early after the onset of diabetes and is 1) demonstrable with a plasma-soluble tracer as well as with particulate microspheres and 2) linked to increased metabolism of glucose via the sorbitol pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E164-E173
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 36-1
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aldose reductase
  • [H]desmethylimipramine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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