Niceritrol, a drug with peripheral tissue vasodilatory and serum lipid-lowering activity, was administered for 2 mo to rats with streptozocin-induced diabetes. Physiological and biochemical studies were subsequently conducted on rat nerve tissue. A markedly lower value of ∼ 47% in sciatic nerve blood flow (SNBF) was detected in an untreated diabetic (DC) group than in a nondiabetic control group (CC). A significant delay in caudal motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) and significantly higher glucose, sorbitol, and fructose values were observed in the sciatic nerve and serum lipids. In contrast, a niceritrol-treated diabetic (DN) group had significantly higher SNBF, MNCV, and sciatic nerve myo-inositol values and lower serum triglyceride levels than group DC. No differences between these two groups were noted in glucose, sorbitol, and fructose levels in the sciatic nerve, or in cholesterol and glucose in serum. These findings suggest that niceritrol has a clear inhibitory effect on the development of delayed MNCV in the diabetic rat, which may be due to reduced nerve blood flow and/or decreased nerve myo-inositol levels.

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