Objective: To investigate the relationship between Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and diabetic
peripheral neuropathy (DPN) using animal models.
Methods: The rat model of diabetic neuropathy was induced by intraperitoneal injection of a single
dose of streptozotocin (STZ) at 65mg/kg. Diabetic rats were randomly divided into two groups (10
each), one treated with 0.9% saline (DMS group) and the other with interleukin-1 receptor antagonist
(IL-1RA) at 50mg/kg (DMI group) twice a day for 5 weeks. Ten normal rats matched for weight, age
and sex served as normal controls (Con group) and were treated with saline. Morphologic studies of
sciatic nerves were achieved using light and transmission electron microscopy.
Results: Transmission electron microscopy of the sciatic nerve showed the ultrastructure of myelin and
the axon in the IL-1RA group was highly protected compared to diabetic controls.
Conclusion: High levels of circulating IL-1beta may be associated with the risk of DPN and anti-IL-1
treatment may provide a potential strategy for the prevention of diabetic neuropathy.