CONTEXT: Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by hyperglycemia that, when allowed to progress long-term untreated, develops vascular and neurological complications, which are responsible for the development of alterations in the enteric nervous system in diabetic patients. In the gastrointestinal tract, diabetes mellitus promotes motor and sensory changes, and in the reflex function of this system, causing gastroparesis, diarrhea, constipation, megacolon, slow gastrointestinal transit, gastric stasis and dilation with decreased or increased peristaltic contractions. Several studies have shown that oxidative stress is the main responsible for the vascular and neurological complications affecting the enteric nervous system of diabetics. OBJECTIVE: The effects of 0.1% and 2% vitamin E on myosin-V- and nNOS-immunoreactive neurons in the jejunum of diabetic rats were investigated. METHODS: Thirty rats were divided into the groups: normoglycemic, normoglycemic treated with 0.1% vitamin E, normoglycemic treated with 2% vitamin E, diabetic, diabetic treated with 0.1% vitamin E, and diabetic treated with 2% vitamin E. The neuronal density and areas of neuron cell bodies were determined. RESULTS: Diabetes (diabetic group) significantly reduced the number of myosin-V-immunoreactive neurons compared with the normoglycemic group. The diabetic treated with 0.1% vitamin E and diabetic treated with 2% vitamin E groups did not exhibit a greater density than the D group (P>0.05). Nitrergic density did not change with diabetes (P>0.05). The areas of myosin-V- and nNOS-immunoreactive neurons significantly increased in the normoglycemic treated with 2% vitamin E and diabetic groups compared with the normoglycemic group. CONCLUSION: Supplementation with 2% vitamin E had a neurotrophic effect only in the area of myosin-V-immunoreactive neurons compared with the diabetic group.
Vitamin E; Diabetes mellitus, experimental; Jejunum; Neurons; Myosin type V; Nitric oxide sinthase; Rats