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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6978625, 9 pages
Research Article

The Role of Metformin in Controlling Oxidative Stress in Muscle of Diabetic Rats

1Institute of Genetics and Biochemistry, Federal University of Uberlandia, 38400-902 Uberlandia, MG, Brazil
2Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Uberlandia, 38400-902 Uberlandia, MG, Brazil

Received 4 March 2016; Revised 15 June 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Silvana Hrelia

Copyright © 2016 Danielle Diniz Vilela et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metformin can act in muscle, inhibiting the complex I of the electron transport chain and decreasing mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. Our hypothesis is that the inhibition of complex I can minimize damage oxidative in muscles of hypoinsulinemic rats. The present study investigated the effects of insulin and/or metformin treatment on oxidative stress levels in the gastrocnemius muscle of diabetic rats. Rats were rendered diabetic (D) with an injection of streptozotocin and were submitted to treatment with insulin (D+I), metformin (D+M), or insulin plus metformin (D+I+M) for 7 days. The body weight, glycemic control, and insulin resistance were evaluated. Then, oxidative stress levels, glutathione antioxidant defense system, and antioxidant status were analyzed in the gastrocnemius muscle of hypoinsulinemic rats. The body weight decreased in D+M compared to ND rats. D+I and D+I+M rats decreased the glycemia and D+I+M rats increased the insulin sensitivity compared to D rats. D+I+M reduced the oxidative stress levels and the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase in skeletal muscle when compared to D+I rats. In conclusion, our results reveal that dual therapy with metformin and insulin promotes more benefits to oxidative stress control in muscle of hypoinsulinemic rats than insulinotherapy alone.