Diabetes mellitus is a common metabolic disease leading to hyperglycemia due to insufficient pancreatic insulin production or effect. Amine oxidase copper containing 3 (AOC3) is an enzyme that belongs to the semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase family, which may be a novel therapeutic target to treat diabetic complications. We aimed to explore the effects of AOC3 inhibition and to test the actions of our novel AOC3 inhibitor multi-target drug candidate, SZV 1287, compared to a selective reference compound, LJP 1207, in an 8-week long insulin-controlled streptozotocin (STZ)-induced (60 mg/kg i.p.) rat diabetes model. Both AOC3 inhibitors (20 mg/kg, daily s.c. injections) were protective against STZ-induced pancreatic beta cell damage determined by insulin immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay, neuropathic cold hypersensitivity measured by paw withdrawal latency decrease from 0 °C water, and retinal dysfunction detected by electroretinography. SZV 1287 showed greater inhibitory effects on beta cell damage, and reduced retinal apoptosis shown by histochemistry. Mechanical hypersensitivity measured by aesthesiometry, cardiac dysfunction and nitrosative stress determined by echocardiography and immunohistochemistry/Western blot, respectively, serum Na, K, fructosamine, and urine microalbumin, creatinine, total protein/creatinine ratio alterations did not develop in response to diabetes. None of these parameters were influenced by the treatments except for SZV 1287 reducing serum fructosamine and LJP 1207 increasing urine creatinine. We provide the first evidence for protective effects of AOC3 inhibition on STZ-induced pancreatic beta cell damage, neuropathic cold hypersensitivity and diabetic retinal dysfunction. Long-term treatment with our novel multi-target analgesic candidate, SZV 1287, is safe and effective also under diabetic conditions.
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