Type 1diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder that occurs due to the rapid destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, leading to insulin deficiency and the inability to regulate blood glucose levels and leads to destructive secondary complications. Advanced glycation end (AGEs) products, the result of the cross-linking of reducing sugars and proteins within the tissues, are one of the key causes of major complications associated with diabetes such as renal failure, blindness, nerve damage and vascular changes. Non-invasive techniques to detect AGEs are important for preventing the harmful effects of AGEs during diabetes mellitus.
In this study, we utilized multiphoton microscopy to image biopsies taken from control rats and compared them to biopsies taken from streptozotocin (STZ) induced adult male diabetic rats. This was done at two and four weeks after the induction of hyperglycemia (>400 mg/dL) specifically to evaluate the effects of glycation on collagen. We chose to use an in-situ multiphoton microscopy method that combines multiphoton auto-florescence (AF) and second harmonic generation (SHG) to detect the microscopic influence of glycation.
Initial results show high auto-florescence levels were present on the collagen, as a result of the accumulation of AGEs only two weeks after the STZ injection and considerably higher levels were present four weeks after the STZ injection. Future projects could involve evaluating advanced glycation end products in a clinical trial of diabetic patients.