Normalization of hyperglycemia by vanadate or vanadyl treatment in diabetic rats. Pharmacological and toxicological aspects

J. L. Domingo, M. Gomez, D. J. Sanchez, J. M. Llobet, J. Corbella, Carl L Keen

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10 Scopus citations


Oral vanadate and vanadyl have been reported to improve glucose homeostasis in streptozotocin-diabetic rats and have been suggested as possible therapeutic agents in diabetes mellitus. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the significant reduction in the plasma glucose levels of vanadium-treated diabetic rats might be the result, at least in part, from reduced food and fluid consumption, or the direct effect of vanadate or vanadyl administration. Diabetes was induced in male rats by s.c. streptozotocin injection (60 mg/kg). Diabetic rats were assigned randomly to one of five regimens for 4 weeks: untreated (controls), vanadate-treated (0.2 mg of sodium metavanadate per milliliter drinking water), vanadyl-treated (1.1 mg/ml of vanadyl sulfate trihydrate per milliliter drinking water), and two groups which received daily equal amounts of food and fluid to those ingested the day before by the animals treated with vanadate or vanadyl. As in previous studies, vanadium treatment of diabetic rats decreased the severity of diabetes evidenced by decreased hyperphagia, polydipsia, plasma glucose levels, and relatively normal weight gain. However, blood glucose levels in the pair-fed rats were always similar to those in the vanadium-treated diabetic groups. These results would suggest that the 'positive' effects of vanadium therapy on the normalization of hyperglycemia in STZ-diabetic rats may be secondary to the decreases observed in food and fluid intake. Although the antidiabetic action of vanadate and vanadyl has been clearly shown, the results of the present study together with the data of previous investigations showing toxic effects of vanadium, would argue out of the use of inorganic vanadium in diabetes treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalTrace Elements in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • anorexic effects
  • diabetes
  • glucose homeostasis
  • rats
  • vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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