I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jul 2021 - 16 Jul 2021

Animal Studies

2021 Jul 08


A ketogenic diet reduces mechanical allodynia and improves epidermal innervation in diabetic mice.



Dietary interventions are promising approaches to treat pain associated with metabolic changes because they impact both metabolic and neural components contributing to painful neuropathy. Here, we tested whether consumption of a ketogenic diet could affect sensation, pain, and epidermal innervation loss in type 1 diabetic mice. C57Bl/6 mice were rendered diabetic using streptozotocin and administered a ketogenic diet at either three weeks (prevention) or nine weeks (reversal) of uncontrolled diabetes. We quantified changes in metabolic biomarkers, sensory thresholds, and epidermal innervation to assess impact on neuropathy parameters. Diabetic mice consuming ketogenic diet had normalized weight gain, reduced blood glucose, elevated blood ketones, and reduced hemoglobin-A1C levels. These metabolic biomarkers were also improved following nine weeks of diabetes followed by four weeks of a ketogenic diet. Diabetic mice fed a control chow diet developed rapid mechanical allodynia of the hind paw that was reversed within a week of consumption of a ketogenic diet in both prevention and reversal studies. Loss of thermal sensation was also improved by consumption of a ketogenic diet via normalized thermal thresholds. Finally, diabetic mice consuming a ketogenic diet had normalized epidermal innervation, including after nine weeks of uncontrolled diabetes and four weeks of consumption of the ketogenic diet. These results suggest that, in mice, a ketogenic diet can prevent and reverse changes in key metabolic biomarkers, altered sensation, pain and axon innervation of the skin. These results identify a ketogenic diet as a potential therapeutic intervention for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy and/or epidermal axon loss.