PloS one

The Effects of Leucine, Zinc, and Chromium Supplements on Inflammatory Events of the Respiratory System in Type 2 Diabetic Rats.

PMID 26185997


Diabetes mellitus is a major cause of serious micro- and macrovascular diseases that affect nearly every system in the body, including the respiratory system. Non-enzymatic protein glycation due to hyperglycaemic stress has fundamental implications due to the large capillary network and amount of connective tissue in the lung. The current study was designed to determine whether leucine, zinc, and chromium supplementations influence the function and histological structure of the respiratory tract in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Seventy-seven rats were divided into eleven groups, consisting of 7 animals each. One group served as negative control and insulin and glibenclamide were used as positive control drugs. Thus, eight groups received the nutritional supplements alone or in combination with each other. Nutritional supplements and glibenclamide were added to the drinking water and neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin was subcutaneously injected during the 4 weeks of treatment period. The induction of type 2 diabetes in the rats caused an infiltration of mononuclear cells and edema in the submucosa of the trachea and lung, severe fibrosis around the vessels and airways, and perivascular and peribronchial infiltration of inflammatory cells and fibrin. In the diabetic group, the total inflammation score and Reid index significantly increased. Diabetes induction significantly reduced the total antioxidant status and elevated the lipid peroxidation products in the serum, lung lavage and lung tissue of the diabetic animals. Treatment with nutritional supplements significantly decreased the histopathological changes and inflammatory indices in the diabetic animals. Supplementation of diabetic rats with leucine, zinc, and chromium, alone and in combination, significantly increased the total antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation level in the diabetic animals. The nutritional supplements improved the enzymatic antioxidant activity of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, myeloperoxidase, and superoxide dismutase in the diabetic rats. The present results demonstrate beneficial effects and amelioration of inflammation in the respiratory system of type 2 diabetic rats by leucine, zinc, and chromium supplements, probably due to their hypoglycaemic and antioxidant properties. Using safe and effective nutritional supplements, such as leucine, chromium and zinc, to replace proven conventional medical treatments may help to control diabetes and/or its complications.