Diabetes and mitochondrial oxidative stress: A study using heart mitochondria from the diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rat

  • Dario Loureiro Santos
  • Carlos Marques Palmeira
  • Raquel Seiça
  • José Dias
  • José Mesquita
  • António Joaquim Moreno
  • Maria Sancha Santos
Part of the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry: An International Journal for Chemical Biology in Health and Disease book series (DMCB, volume 41)


Increasing evidence shows that the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, induced by diabetic hyperglycemia, contributes to the development of several cardiopathologies. The susceptibility of diabetic hearts to oxidative stress, induced in vitro by ADP-Fe2+ in mitochondria, was studied in 12-month-old Goto-Kakizaki rats, a model of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and normal (non-diabetic) Wistar rats. In terms of lipid peroxidation the oxidative damage was evaluated on heart mitochondria by measuring both the 02consumption and the concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. Diabetic rats display a more intense formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and a higher 02consumption than non-diabetic rats. The oxidative damage, assessed by electron microscopy, was followed by an extensive effect on the volume of diabetic heart mitochondria, as compared with control heart mitochondria. An increase in the susceptibility of diabetic heart mitochondria to oxidative stress can be explained by reduced levels of endogenous antioxidants, so we proceeded in determining α-tocopherol, GSH and coenzyme Q content. Although no difference of α-tocopherol levels was found in diabetic rats as compared with control rat mitochondria, a significant reduction in GSH (21.5% reduction in diabetic rats) and coenzyme Q levels of diabetic rats was observed. The data suggest that a significant decrease of coenzyme Q9, a potent antioxidant involved in the elimination of mitochondria-generated reactive oxygen species, may be responsible for an increased susceptibility of diabetic heart mitochondria to oxidative damage. (Mol Cell Biochem 246:163–170, 2003)

Key words

heart mitochondria diabetes reactive oxygen species coenzyme Q a-tocopherol Goto-Kakizaki rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dario Loureiro Santos
    • 1
  • Carlos Marques Palmeira
    • 2
    • 3
  • Raquel Seiça
    • 2
    • 4
  • José Dias
    • 1
  • José Mesquita
    • 5
  • António Joaquim Moreno
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maria Sancha Santos
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealCanada
  2. 2.Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology of CoimbraCanada
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of MedicineCanada
  5. 5.Department of BotanyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraCanada

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