Endoneurial microvascular pathology in feline diabetic neuropathy

Jeannelyn S. Estrella, Richard W Nelson, Beverly Sturges, Karen Vernau, D. Collette Williams, Richard A Lecouteur, G. Diane Shelton, Andrew P. Mizisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Endoneurial capillaries in nerve biopsies from 12 adult diabetic cats with varying degrees of neurological dysfunction were examined for evidence of microvascular pathology and compared to nerves obtained at necropsy from 7 adult non-diabetic cats without clinical evidence of neurological dysfunction. As reported previously [Mizisin, A.P., Nelson, R.W., Sturges, B.K., Vernau, K.M., LeCouteur, R.A., Williams, D.C., Burgers, M.L., Shelton, G.D., 2007. Comparable myelinated nerve pathology in feline and human diabetes mellitus. Acta Neuropathol. 113, 431-442.], the diabetic cats had elevated glycosylated hemoglobin and serum fructosamine levels, decreased motor nerve conduction velocity and compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude, and markedly decreased myelinated nerve fiber densities. Compared to non-diabetic cats, there was a non-significant 26% increase in capillary density and a significant (P < 0.009) 45% increase in capillary size in diabetic cats. Capillary luminal size was also significantly (P < 0.001) increased, while an index of vasoconstriction was significantly decreased (P < 0.001) in diabetic cats compared to non-diabetic controls. No differences in endothelial cell size, endothelial cell number or pericyte size were detected between non-diabetic and diabetic cats. In diabetic cats, basement membrane thickening, seen as a reduplication of the basal lamina, was significantly (P < 0.0002) increased by 73% compared to non-diabetic controls. Regression analysis of either myelinated nerve fiber density or CMAP amplitude against basement membrane size demonstrated a negative correlation with significant slopes (P < 0.03 and P < 0.04, respectively). These data demonstrate that myelinated nerve fiber injury in feline diabetic neuropathy is associated with microvascular pathology and that some of these changes parallel those documented in experimental rodent and human diabetic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Basement membrane
  • Endoneurial capillaries
  • Endothelial cells
  • Feline diabetes mellitus
  • Microangiopathy
  • Pericytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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