Background: Oxidative stress induces renal dysfunction in diabetes, in which renal mitochondrial disturbance was implicated. Vitamin C (VC) supplementation may ameliorate the renal dysfunction in diabetics. However, it is not clear whether VC supplementation is effective for renal mitochondrial disturbances in diabetes.
Objective: Investigate whether long-term continuous VC supplementation could ameliorate the renal mitochondrial disturbances in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Thirty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats were used, and diabetes was induced by an injection of STZ. The rats were divided into three groups: control rats (CON), STZ-induced diabetic rats (STZ), and diabetic rats supplemented by vitamin C (STZ-VC). The CON and STZ rats were given tap water, while STZ-VC rats received VC (1 g/L) every day for eight, 24 and 52 weeks. The kidney was isolated and homogenized. Oxygen comsumption (Vo2) was measured in mitochondria homogenate using an oxygen consumption monitor. Based on Vo2 tracings, the respiration control index (RCI) and P/O ratio (= ADP/ O ratio) were measured at week 8, 24 and 52.
Results: At week eight, using either glutamate plus malate (for site I) or succinate (for site II) as substrates, both RCI and P/O ratio were not significantly different among three groups. The P/O ratio in STZ and STZ-VC rats increased from eight to 52 weeks after VC supplementation. At week 24, the P/O ratio at site II was normalized in STZ-VC rat. The increased P/O ratio (only site I) and the increased RCI (only site II) of STZ-VC rats were slower than those of STZ rats.
Conclusion: Short-term VC supplementation might not influence the renal mitochondrial activity. The long-term VC supplementation could ameliorate the mitochondrial disturbances induced in STZ-induced diabetic rats.