OBJECTIVE: Diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) leads to progressive loss of muscle strength in the lower extremities due to muscular atrophy. Changes in vascularization occur in diabetic striated muscle; however, the relationship between these changes and DPN is as yet unexplored. The aim of the present study was to evaluate histologic properties and capillarization of diabetic skeletal muscle in relation to DPN and muscle strength. METHODS: Twenty type 1 and 20 type 2 diabetic (T1D and T2D, respectively) patients underwent biopsy of the gastrocnemic muscle, isokinetic dynamometry at the ankle, electrophysiological studies, clinical examination, and quantitative sensory examinations. Muscle biopsies were stained immunohistochemically and muscle fiber diameter, fiber type distribution, and capillary density determined. Twenty control subjects were also included in the study. RESULTS: No relationship was found between muscle fiber diameter, muscle fiber type distribution, or capillary density and degree of neuropathy or muscle strength for either patient group. Muscle fiber diameter and the proportion of Type II fibers were greater for T1D patients than both T2D patients and controls. The T2D patients had fewer capillaries per muscle fiber than T1D patients and controls. CONCLUSIONS: Striated muscle fiber size, muscle fiber distribution, and vascularization are unrelated to DPN and muscle strength in diabetes.
Journal of Diabetes, 2014, Vol 6, Issue 5, p. 462-71