Mitochondrial dysfunction in the salivary glands of type 1 diabetes mellitus rats: effects of insulin and atorvastatin treatment

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Benyanoot Kingkaew
Kawisara Wannasawet
Patchanee Chuveera
La-Ongdao Thongnak
Anusorn Lungaphin
Wasana Pratchayasakul
Siriporn Chattipakorn
Jitjiroj Ittichaicharoen


Background and Objective: Type 1 Diabetes mellitus (T1DM) involves pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction and inadequate insulin production, leading to disrupted blood glucose levels and subsequent organ dysfunction. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of insulin and statins on oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the salivary glands of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Material and Methods: Twenty male rats were divided into control (n=4) and experimental groups (n=16) of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were further divided into four groups (n=4/group) receiving vehicle, low-dose atorvastatin, low-dose insulin, or combined drugs for 4 weeks. Metabolic parameters were assessed via blood samples. Mitochondrial function in submandibular salivary glands was evaluated for reactive oxidative stress (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential, and swelling analysis.

Results: Streptozotocin-induced T1DM rats displayed hyperglycemia, indicating heightened mitochondrial dysfunction in salivary glands. Mitochondrial ROS production and membrane depolarization were significantly elevated compared to normal rats (p<0.05). Atorvastatin, insulin, and combination therapy similarly mitigated mitochondrial dysfunction in induced T1DM rats (p<0.05). All three treatment groups significantly reduced plasma glucose, while combined therapy was the most effective.

Conclusion: Combined drug therapy demonstrated the highest efficacy in improving metabolic parameters. Atorvastatin, insulin, and combined therapy were equally effective in mitigating mitochondrial dysfunction in the salivary glands of induced T1DM rats. These findings suggest the potential of combination therapy for T1DM management. Further investigations are needed to understand their impact on salivary gland function and implications for oral health and overall well-being in individuals with T1DM.


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Kingkaew B, Wannasawet K, Chuveera P, Thongnak L-O, Lungaphin A, Pratchayasakul W, Chattipakorn S, Ittichaicharoen J. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the salivary glands of type 1 diabetes mellitus rats: effects of insulin and atorvastatin treatment. M Dent J [Internet]. 2023 Oct. 19 [cited 2023 Dec. 12];43(suppl):S27-S36. Available from:
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