, Volume 282, Issue 1-2, pp 169-176

Association of hypoglutathionemia with reduced Na+/K+ ATPase activity in type 2 diabetes and microangiopathy

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Objective: Although recent studies link altered cellular redox state to protein dysfunction in various disease-states, such associations are least studied in clinical diabetes. Therefore, this study assessed the levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and Na+/K+ ATPase activities in type 2 diabetic patients with and without microangiopathy. Methods: The study group comprised of a total of 160 subjects, which included non-diabetic healthy controls (n = 40) and type 2 diabetic patients without (n = 60) and with microangiopathy (n = 60), defined as presence of retinopathy with or without nephropathy. Erythrocyte Na+/K+ ATPase activity and GSH levels were estimated spectrophotometrically and fluorometry was used to determine the plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and serum advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Results: GSH levels in diabetic subjects without (4.8± 0.15 μmol/g Hb) and with microangiopathy (5.2± 0.14 μmol/g Hb) were significantly lower (p < 0.001) compared to control subjects (6.3± 0.14 μmol/g Hb). Erythrocyte Na+/K+ ATPase activity was significantly reduced (p < 0.001) in diabetes subjects with (272± 7 nmol Pi/mg protein/h) and without microangiopathy (304 ± 8) compared to control (374 ± 6) subjects. TBARS were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in diabetes subjects with (10.65± 0.81 nM/ml) and without microangiopathy (9.90± 0.5 nM/ml) compared to control subjects (5.18± 0.18 nM/ml). Advanced glycation end product levels were also significantly (p < 0.001) elevated in diabetic subjects with microangiopathy (8.2± 1.8 AU) when compared to diabetes subjects without microangiopathy (7.0± 2.0 AU) and control subjects (4.6± 1.9 AU). On multivariate regression analysis, GSH levels showed a positive association with the Na+/K+ ATPase activity and negative association with TBARS and AGE levels. Conclusion: Hypoglutathionemia and increased oxidative stress appears to be early biochemical aberrations in diabetes, and through protein alterations, oxidative stress and redox modifications may contribute to pathogenesis of diabetic microangiopathy.