Korean J Intern Med.  1999 Jul;14(2):34-40.

Effect of cilostazol on the neuropathies of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

  • 1Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine Research Institute, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Applied Biology, College of Life Resource Science, Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea.


This study examined the effect of cilostazol, a potent phosphodiesterase inhibitor, on the progression of neuropathies associated with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus in Sprague-Dawley rats. METHODS: Eight weeks after streptozotocin treatment, a pelleted diet containing 0.03% cilostazol (15 mg/kg body weight) was given for four weeks. Body weight, blood glucose level, motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV), myelinated fiber density and size distribution of sciatic nerves were compared between age-matched normal rats (Group 1), control diabetic rats (Group 2) and cilostazol-treated diabetic rats (Group 3). RESULTS: Body weight was significantly reduced and blood glucose level was significantly increased in diabetic rats (Group 2 and 3) compared to normal rats. MNCV and cAMP content of sciatic nerves were significantly reduced in diabetic rats 12 weeks after streptozotocin treatment. Myelinated fiber size and density were also significantly reduced, and thickening of the capillary walls and duplication of the basement membranes of the endoneural vessels were observed in the diabetic rats. Whereas both body weight and blood glucose level of Group 3 did not differ significantly from those of Group 2, cilostazol treatment significantly increased MNCV and cAMP content of sciatic nerves in Group 3 but not to the levels observed in Group 1. MNCV positively correlated with cAMP content of sciatic nerves (r = 0.86; p < 0.001). Cilostazol treatment not only restored myelinated fiber density and size distribution but reversed some of the vascular abnormalities. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that a reduced cAMP content in motor nerves may be involved in the development of diabetic neuropathy, and that cilostazol may prevent the progression of diabetic neuropathy by restoring functional impairment and morphological changes of peripheral nerves.


Diabetic rat; Streptozotocin; Neuropathy; Nerve conduction, cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate

MeSH Terms

Cyclic AMP/metabolism
Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental/physiopathology
Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental/drug therapy
Diabetic Neuropathies/prevention & control*
Diabetic Neuropathies/physiopathology
Diabetic Neuropathies/pathology
Neural Conduction/drug effects
Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors/pharmacology*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Sciatic Nerve/physiopathology
Sciatic Nerve/pathology
Sciatic Nerve/drug effects
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