The effects of different glucose concentrations on the expression of extracellular matrix genes were examined in primary cell cultures initiated from sciatic nerves of nondiabetic Sprague-Dawley rats. The cells were incubated in medium containing 5.5, 15, or 25 mM D-glucose, and the expression of type I and IV collagens, laminin, and fibronectin genes was examined at mRNA steady-state levels by Northern hybridizations. Incubation of cell cultures, consisting of Schwann cells, perineurial cells, and fibroblasts, in high glucose concentrations (15 or 25 mM D-glucose) resulted in elevation of pro-α 1(IV), pro-α 2(IV), and pro-α 1(I) collagen chain and fibronectin mRNAs after only 3 days of incubation, whereas laminin B2 chain mRNA levels appeared unaltered. These observations suggest that hyperglycemia may partially contribute to basement membrane thickening in peripheral nerves of diabetic individuals by increasing the expression of genes coding for basement membrane components, e.g., type IV collagen.

This content is only available via PDF.