Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jack S. Wood

Second Advisor

Dr. Leonard Ginsberg

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Diabetic complications in nnn-insulin dependent tissues have led < researchers to investigate causitive parameters at the biochemical level. The purpose of this project was to measure glycosaminoglycans in diabetic and normal human plasma and to investigate any changes in glycosaminoglycan content for possible roles in diabetic complications.

Glycosaminoglycan content was measured by three methods; the alcian blue assay, protein-bound hexosamine, and total glycosaminoglycan isolate methods. Results show IDDM plasma to have significantly increased levels of glycosaminoglycans as assayed by the alcian blue test and protein-bound hexosamine. The total glycosaminoglycan isolate method did not correlate with either of the two other methods. No difference was demonstrated between normal and NIDDM plasma glycosamino glycan content.

The protein-bound hexosamine and the alcian blue assays correlate with age and type of diabetes. No differences between the sexes were demonstrated. Of particular interest are the results that indicate a possible correlation between glycosaminoglycans and renal complications.

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Biology Commons