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

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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 la-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 la 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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Experimental Neurology 172: 220–227, 2001. Reprinted with permission from Academic Press, Inc.

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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