Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of prediabetes and diabetes and is an increasing problem worldwide. Existing peripheral neuropathy treatments rely solely on glycemic control, which is effective in type 1 but not type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, sex differences in response to anti-diabetic drugs further complicate the identification of effective peripheral neuropathy therapies. Elzinga et al therefore investigated sex differences in neuropathy onset and progression in a high-fat diet prediabetes mouse model.
Although onset of insulin resistance was delayed in female versus male high-fat diet mice, both groups still developed the same trajectory of nerve deficits. Collectively, the results indicate that although high-fat diet prediabetic female mice retain early insulin sensitivity, this does not protect them from developing peripheral neuropathy to the same degree of as their male counterparts.