The accumulation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) in diabetes mellitus has been implicated in the biochemical dysfunction associated with the chronic development of microvascular complications of diabetes – nephropathy, retinopathy and peripheral neuropathy. We investigated the concentrations of fructosyl-lysine and AGE residues in protein extracts of renal glomeruli, retina, peripheral nerve and plasma protein of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and normal healthy controls. Glycation adducts were determined by LC with tandem MS detection. In diabetic rats, the fructosyl-lysine concentration was increased markedly in glomeruli, retina, sciatic nerve and plasma protein. The concentrations of N-carboxymethyl-lysine and N-carboxyethyl-lysine were increased in glomeruli, sciatic nerve and plasma protein, and N-carboxymethyl-lysine also in the retina. Hydroimidazolone AGEs derived from glyoxal, methylglyoxal and 3-deoxylglucosone were major AGEs quantitatively. They were increased in the retina, nerve, glomeruli and plasma protein. AGE accumulation in renal glomeruli, retina, peripheral nerve and plasma proteins is consistent with a role for AGEs in the development of nephropathy, retinopathy and peripheral neuropathy in diabetes. High-dose therapy with thiamine and Benfotiamine suppressed the accumulation of AGEs, and is a novel approach to preventing the development of diabetic complications.

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