Coenzyme protects against diabetes complications in mice

Mice with diabetes given nicotinamide riboside, an NAD+ precursor, had reduced weight gain, improved glycaemic control and reduced liver damage, compared with controls.

graph showing how nicotinamide riboside opposes PDPN and T2DPN

Courtesy of Charles Brenner

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) improves intraepidermal nerve fibre density, helping to fight prediabetic polyneuropathy in mice given normal chow (NC), a high fat diet (HFD) and HFD plus streptozotocin (toxic to pancreatic beta cells)

Around half of people with diabetes will experience peripheral neuropathy, for which there is currently no treatment. 

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme crucial to cell metabolism. Recent research has suggested that increased NAD+ metabolism may be neuroprotective. To explore this, researchers administered nicotinamide riboside (NR), an NAD+ precursor, to mice with induced prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

Compared with controls, these mice had reduced weight gain, improved glycaemic control and reduced liver damage. The mice were also protected against diabetic neuropathy, which the researchers say could not be explained by improved glycaemic control alone. 

The researchers, writing in Scientific Reports (online, 27 May 2016)[1]
, say the results justify testing the effects of nicotinamide riboside in a clinical trial of overweight adults and adults with diabetes.

Courtesy of Charles Brenner

Samuel Trammell (left) and Charles Brenner (right) conducted the research at the University of Iowa



[1] Trammell SAJ, Weidemann BJ, Chadda A et al. Nicotinamide riboside opposes type 2 diabetes and neuropathy in mice. Scientific Reports 2016;6:26933. doi: 10.1038/srep26933

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Coenzyme protects against diabetes complications in mice;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201250

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