Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 215-226

First online:

Protective effect of selenium treatment on diabetes-induced myocardial structural alterations

  • Murat AyazAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Ankara University
  • , Belgin CanAffiliated withDepartment of Histology-Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University
  • , Semir OzdemirAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Ankara University
  • , Belma TuranAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Ankara University

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One of the main causes leading to mortality in diabetes is myocardial disease. Using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animals, it has been possible to characterize diabetes-induced myocardial abnormalities. Interstitial and microvascular disorders are known to be a characteristic part of the diabetic cardiomyopathy and partly resist insulin therapy. Because diabetic damage is partly attributed to oxidative stress, antioxidant treatment may be able to reduce this damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the cardioprotective effect of sodium selenite, known as an antioxidant agent. The diabetes was induced by ip injection of 50 mg/kg body wt STZ. The duration of diabetes was 5 wk. The protected group received (ip) 5 µmol/kg body wt/d sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) over 4 wk following diabetes induction. Electron and light microscopic morphometry of heart samples revealed typical diabetic alterations consisting in an increase in collagen content, vacuolation, diminishing of the cardiomyocyte diameter, alteration in myofilaments and Z-lines of myofibers, and myofibrillary degeneration. Sodium selenite treatment could prevent the loss of myofibrills and reduction of myocyte diameter. In the sodium-selenite-treated diabetic rat heart, alterations of the discus intercalaris and nucleus were corrected, and degenerations seen in myofilaments and Z-lines were reversed by this treatment. Under these findings, one can suggest that sodium selenite treatment may alleviate late diabetic complications when it is used under control conditions.

Index Entries

Sodium selenite heart histology ultrastructure diabetes rat