Efficacy of lower doses of vanadium in restoring altered glucose metabolism and antioxidant status in diabetic rat lenses.
J Biosci. 2005 Mar;30(2):221-30. PMID: 15886458
Vanadium compounds are potent in controlling elevated blood glucose levels in experimentally induced diabetes. However the toxicity associated with vanadium limits its role as therapeutic agent for diabetic treatment. A vanadium compound sodium orthovanadate (SOV) was given to alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats in lower doses in combination with Trigonella foenum graecum, a well-known hypoglycemic agent used in traditional Indian medicines. The effect of this combination was studied on lens morphology and glucose metabolism in diabetic rats. Lens, an insulin-independent tissue, was found severely affected in diabetes showing visual signs of cataract. Alterations in the activities of glucose metabolizing enzymes (hexokinase, aldose reductase, sorbitol dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) and antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) besides the levels of related metabolites, [sorbitol, fructose, glucose, thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) and reduced glutathione (GSH)] were observed in the lenses from diabetic rats and diabetic rats treated with insulin (2 IU/day), SOV (0.6 mg/ml), T. f. graecum seed powder (TSP, 5%) and TSP (5%) in combination with lowered dose of vanadium SOV (0.2 mg/ml), for a period of 3 weeks. The activity of the enzymes, hexokinase, aldose reductase and sorbitol dehydrogenase was significantly increased whereas the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase decreased significantly in lenses from 3 week diabetic rats. Significant increase in accumulation of metabolites, sorbitol, fructose, glucose was found in diabetic lenses. TBARS measure of peroxidation increased whereas the levels of antioxidant GSH decreased significantly in diabetic condition. Insulin restored the levels of altered enzyme activities and metabolites almost to control levels. Sodium orthovanadate (0.6 mg/ml) and Trigonella administered separately to diabetic animals could partially reverse the diabetic changes, metabolic and morphological, while vanadate in lowered dose in combination with Trigonella was found to be the most effective in restoring the altered lens metabolism and morphological appearance in diabetes. It may be concluded that vanadate at lowered doses administered in combination with Trigonella was the most effective in controlling the altered glucose metabolism and antioxidant status in diabetic lenses, these being significant factors involved in the development of diabetic complications, that reflects in the reduced lens opacity.