Insulin-dependent diabetic microangiopathy in the inner ear
Thickening of the basement membrane in capillaries is implicated in the microangiopathic complications of diabetes mellitus. This study was designed to evaluate microangiopathic changes of the inner ear associated with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and concurrent moderate-intensity noise exposure. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) to induce IDDM. Half of the control and diabetic animals were exposed to chronic noise of 95 dB over the 6-month study period. Photomicrographs of the capillaries in the stria vascularis were obtained by transmission electron microscopy, and basement- membrane thickness was measured with an image processing system. This study quantitatively demonstrates basement-membrane thickening consistent with diabetic microangiopathy in the inner ear of IDDM rats. Noise exposure did not significantly change basement- membrane thickness in either diabetic or control animals.