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Attenuation of oxidative stress and cardioprotective effects of zinc supplementation in experimental diabetic rats

  • Susmita Barman (a1) and Krishnapura Srinivasan (a1)


Oxidative stress plays a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, which further exacerbates damage of cardiac, hepatic and other tissues. We have recently reported that Zn supplementation beneficially modulates hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia, with attendant reduction of associated metabolic abnormalities in diabetic rats. The present study assessed the potential of Zn supplementation in modulating oxidative stress and cardioprotective effects in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in Wistar rats with streptozotocin, and groups of diabetic rats were treated with 5- and 10-fold dietary Zn interventions (0·19 and 0·38 g Zn/kg diet) for 6 weeks. The markers of oxidative stress, antioxidant enzyme activities and concentrations of antioxidant molecules, lipid profile, and expressions of fibrosis and pro-apoptotic factors in the cardiac tissue were particularly assessed. Supplemental Zn showed significant attenuation of diabetes-induced oxidative stress in terms of altered antioxidant enzyme activities and increased the concentrations of antioxidant molecules. Hypercholesterolaemia and hyperlipidaemia were also significantly countered by Zn supplementation. Along with attenuated oxidative stress, Zn supplementation also showed significant cardioprotective effects by altering the mRNA expressions of fibrosis and pro-apoptotic factors (by >50 %). The expression of lipid oxidative marker 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) protein in cardiac tissue of diabetic animals was rectified (68 %) by Zn supplementation. Elevated cardiac and hepatic markers in circulation and pathological abnormalities in cardiac and hepatic tissue architecture of diabetic animals were ameliorated by dietary Zn intervention. The present study indicates that Zn supplementation can attenuate diabetes-induced oxidative stress in circulation as well as in cardiac and hepatic tissues.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Dr K. Srinivasan, fax +91 821 251 7233, email


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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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