Nerve ischemia, both acute and chronic, may contribute to diabetic neuropathies, but the pathogenesis remains obscure. The vulnerability of diabetic nerve to ischemia was assessed by ligating arteries of supply of rat sciatic nerve after 20 wk of streptozocin-induced diabetes. In the first 24 h after the arterial ligations, severe and more rapidly occurring clinicopathological abnormalities were invariably seen in diabetic nerves, but these findings were less severe in nondiabetic nerves. The results imply that peripheral nerve in diabetes mellitus is more subject to ischemia than normal nerve. This phenomenon may ensue from endoneurial hypoxia and play an important role in the development of diabetic neuropathies.

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