Open Access

Vascular impact of quercetin administration in association with moderate exercise training in experimental type 1 diabetes


Hyperglycemia and oxidative stress have a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complications. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of combining quercetin treatment with moderate exercise training in reversing diabetes-induced oxidative stress and ultrasound modifications in rat carotid arteries. The diabetic Wistar rats were divided into sedentary groups and trained groups. The trained animals went through a regular moderate exercise by swimming (5 weeks). Some non-diabetic and diabetic rats were daily treated with quercetin (30 mg/kg, for 5 weeks). At the end of the study, the imaging evaluation required to assess the effects of diabetes on carotid arteries was performed by micro-ultrasound (MU). The diabetic rats presented atherosclerotic plaques, with an increase in the echogenicity of the carotid artery wall, carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), and carotid wall thickness, while the diabetic trained rats treated with quercetin presented normal values of these parameters. Malondialde-hyde (MDA) levels, superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant enzyme activity, reduced glutathione (GSH) levels and the reduced (GSH) to oxidized (GSSG) glutathione ratio were determined in the carotid artery tissue. Diabetes caused elevated MDA levels and a decrease in SOD activity, GSH levels and GSH/GSSG ratio in the carotid artery tissue. Treating diabetic rats with quercetin combined with moderate exercise training reversed all these oxidative stress parameters. Our results show that this combination, quercetin and moderate exercise training, can be a good treatment strategy for the vascular complications of diabetes by attenuating hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Human Biology, Microbiology and Virology