Riboflavin nutritional status and flavoprotein enzymes in streptozotocin-diabetic rats

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Riboflavin nutritional status was assessed on the basis of activity coefficients of glutathione reductase in erythrocyte hemolysates of normal and streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Activity coefficient values higher than 1.3 were regarded as evidence of riboflavin deficiency. All diabetic animals were found to be riboflavin-deficient, with activity coefficient values of 1.47-2.11. Treatment of diabetic rats with either insulin or riboflavin returned their activity coefficients to normal. Rats fed a restricted diet had normal activity coefficient values. The erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity was significantly lower in diabetic rats, and the augmentation of enzyme activity in the presence of flavin-adenine dinucleotide (FAD) was 72% compared to 16% in normal rats. Hepatic activities of glutathione reductase and succinate dehydrogenase, both FAD-containing enzymes, were significantly lower in diabetic than in normal rats. Like activity coefficient values, all enzyme activities were normalized after insulin or riboflavin treatments. These data suggest that insulin and riboflavin enhance the synthesis of erythrocyte and hepatic FAD. The results of the present study suggest that experimental diabetes causes riboflavin deficiency, which in turn decreases erythrocyte and hepatic flavoprotein enzyme activities. These changes can be corrected for by either insulin or riboflavin. The pathogenesis of riboflavin deficiency in diabetes mellitus is not clearly understood. The data of the present study provide evidence in addition to the previous findings of an increased prevalence of riboflavin deficiency in genetically diabetic KK mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalBBA - General Subjects
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 3 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


  • (Rat)
  • Diabetes
  • Flavoprotein enzyme
  • Riboflavin deficiency

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