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Oxidative stress: key player in gastrointestinal complications of diabetes


Address for Correspondence
Gianrico Farrugia MD, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Tel: +507 284 4695; fax: +507 284 0266;


Gastrointestinal dysmotility presenting as nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain is seen in diabetic patients. Oxidative stress has recently been recognized as a significant player in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal complications of diabetes. In this issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, a team of investigators from Emory University led by Dr. Srinivasan present new evidence on the effect of oxidative stress in the diabetic colon. They show in diabetic patients, increased oxidative stress is associated with loss of the inhibitory neuronal subpopulation of enteric neurons, and that the neuronal loss can be reversed in-vitro by anti-oxidant lipoic acid. This new information adds to the accumulating evidence on the deleterious effect of oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract and highlights the opportunity to develop newer therapies focused on augmenting anti-oxidant defenses in the gastrointestinal tract in diabetic patients.