Homocysteine, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide in type 2 diabetes mellitus

M. G. Signorello, G. L. Viviani, U. Armani, R. Cerone, G. Minniti, A. Piana, G. Leoncini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Type 2 diabetes mellitus shows a characteristic altered platelet function that can be due to several mechanisms such as oxidative stress. Hyperhomocysteinemia, considered as a risk factor for various arterial thrombosis, may have a role in generating oxidative damage, even if the pathogenic mechanisms are still not clear. In this report we aimed to determine the role of plasma homocysteine in inducing oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Materials and methods: The study was performed on a group of 34 males with type 2 diabetes and 36 healthy subjects matched for sex and age. Patients and healthy subjects were undergone to laboratory evaluation for plasma homocysteine levels and other metabolic parameters. In both groups of subjects platelet reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide and guanosine 3′,5′ cyclic monophosphate levels were measured. Moreover the reduced glutathione content in platelets of patients and of healthy subjects was assayed. Results: Plasma homocysteine levels were significantly increased in patients compared with healthy subjects. The basal level of reactive oxygen species was significantly higher in patients than in controls. In addition platelets of patients stimulated with thrombin produced more reactive oxygen species than healthy subjects ones. The nitric oxide, guanosine 3′,5′ cyclic monophosphate and reduced glutathione content were decreased in platelets of patients. Conclusions: As homocysteine stimulates oxidative stress and inhibits nitric oxide formation, hyperhomocysteinemia measured in type 2 diabetic patients, promoting platelet hyperactivity, could have a role in the atherogenic effects described in type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Diabetes
  • GSH
  • Homocysteine
  • Human platelets
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Hematology


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