Up-regulation of the receptor for advanced glycation end products in the skin biopsy specimens of patients with severe diabetic neuropathy

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Background and Purpose: The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) may contribute to the development of diabetic neuropathy. To assess its relevance in humans, this study examined the expression of RAGE in the skin biopsy samples of patients with diabetes mellitus, and investigated its correlation with intraepidermal nerve-fber density (IENFD) and clinical measures of neuropathy severity.

Methods: Forty-four patients who either had type 2 diabetes or were prediabetes underwent clinical evaluation and a 3-mm skin punch biopsy. The clinical severity of their neuropathy was assessed using the Michigan Diabetic Neuropathy Score. IENFD was measured along with im-munohistochemical staining for RAGE in 29 skin biopsy samples. The expression of RAGE was also quantifed by real-time reverse-transcription PCR in the remaining 15 patients.

Results: RAGE was localized mostly in the dermal and subcutaneous vascular endothelia. The staining was more intense in patients with a lower IENFD (p=0.004). The quantity of RAGE mRNA was signifcantly higher in patients with severe neuropathy than in those with no or mild neuropathy (p=0.003). The up-regulation of RAGE was related to dyslipidemia and diabetic nephropathy. There was a trend toward decreased sural nerve action-potential amplitude and slowed peroneal motor-nerve conduction with increasing RAGE expression.

Conclusions: The fndings of this study demonstrate up-regulation of RAGE in skin biopsy samples from patients with diabetic neuropathy, supporting a pathogenic role of RAGE in the development of diabetic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Receptor for advanced glycation end products

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