Reduced Ia-afferent-mediated Hoffman reflex in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

James R. Tonra, Kenneth D. Cliffer, Susan R. Carson, Ronald M. Lindsay, Sue C. Bodine, Peter S. DiStefano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


In addition to reduced nerve conduction velocity, diabetic neuropathic patients often exhibit a reduction in the amplitude of the compound muscle action potential elicited by stimulation of the Ia-afferent-mediated reflex pathway (Hoffman or H wave) that can contribute to diminished or absent tendon reflexes. In contrast to nerve conduction velocity deficits, changes in H-wave amplitudes have not been reproduced in diabetic animal models. Using electrophysiological techniques developed for repeated recordings in individual animals, we report H-wave deficits in streptozotocin (STZ)-treated insulin-dependent diabetic rats. After 4 weeks of diabetes induced by STZ treatment, a 47% reduction in the H-wave amplitude was demonstrated by recording compound muscle action potentials in foot muscles after stimulation of Ia afferents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that the H-wave amplitude gradually recovers to a 26% deficit after 12 weeks of experimental diabetes. The recovery of the H wave in STZ-treated rats distinguishes this deficit mechanistically from other STZ-induced electrophysiological changes and may model a similar recovery of the H wave reported in diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Neuropathy
  • Stz
  • Tendon reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Tonra, J. R., Cliffer, K. D., Carson, S. R., Lindsay, R. M., Bodine, S. C., & DiStefano, P. S. (2001). Reduced Ia-afferent-mediated Hoffman reflex in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Experimental Neurology, 172(1), 220-227.