A short-term diabetes induced changes of catecholamines and p38-MAPK in discrete areas of rat brain.
ABSTRACT Chronic diabetes is associated with the alteration of second messengers and CNS disorders. We have recently identified that protein kinases (CaMKII and PKC-alpha) and brain neurotransmitters are altered during diabetes as well as in hyperglycemic and acidotic conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of acute diabetes on the levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E) and p38-Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (p38-MAPK) in striatum (ST), hippocampus (HC), hypothalamus (HT), midbrain (MB), pons medulla (PM), cerebellum (CB) and cerebral cortex (CCX). Alloxan (45 mg/kg) diabetic untreated rats that showed hyperglycemia (>260 mg%), revealed significant increases of DA level in ST (1.5 fold), HC (2.2 fold) and PM (2.0 fold) and the E level also found to be increased significantly in HT (2.4 fold), whereas the NE level was decreased in CB (0.5 fold), after 7 days of diabetes. Immunoblotting study of p38-MAPK expression under identical conditions showed significant alterations in ST, HC, HT and PM (p<0.05) correlated with the changes of catecholamines (DA and E). On the other hand, the above changes were reversed in insulin-treated diabetic rats maintained under normal glucose level (80 -110 mg %). These results suggest that p38-MAPK may regulate the rate of either the synthesis or release of DA and E in corresponding brain areas, but not NE, under these conditions.