Morphology and protein content of hepatocytes in type I diabetic rats submitted to physical exercises
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The importance of physical exercise practice in the treatment of diabetes has been reported in many studies recently, but only limited data can be found regarding its benefits on liver morphology and protein content of hepatocytes. In order to assess the changes arising from the development of type I diabetes and the benefits of a training protocol, Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sedentary control (SC), trained control (TC), sedentary diabetic (SD) and trained diabetic (TD). The training protocol consisted of swimming for 60 min a day, 5 days/week, during 8 weeks. Liver samples were collected, processed and analyzed by histochemical and ultrastructural techniques. Biochemical tests were also conducted to examine the protein content and quantity of DNA in the liver. In morphological assessment, the presence of areas of cytoplasmic basophilia observed in control subjects was not visualized in sedentary diabetics. It was related to differences in the amount of mitochondria in the cytosol. The mitochondrial structure has not undergone relevant changes, and the number of rough endoplasmic reticulum cisterns was clearly inferior in sedentary diabetics, suggesting lower protein production. However, the biochemical analysis of protein content indicated no statistical differences between groups. The exercise, in turn, was not responsible for major changes in these characteristics. on the whole, the morphological damages arising from type I diabetes were noteworthy. Nevertheless, regular physical training was not responsible for significant improvements in some respects, making evident the need for combined application of a distinct form of treatment. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.