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Gastroenterology. 1988 Nov;95(5):1234-41.

Progressive changes in adrenergic, serotonergic, and peptidergic nerves in proximal colon of streptozotocin-diabetic rats.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


The effect of progression of diabetes on adrenergic, serotonergic, and peptidergic innervation of the proximal colon of the rat at 8, 16, and 25 wk after induction of diabetes with streptozotocin was investigated using immunohistochemical, biochemical, and immunochemical methods. Two different responses to diabetes emerged from the present study. The first response, which involves noradrenaline and vasoactive intestinal peptide, was characterized by a sign of degeneration, where there was an initial increase in tissue level and immunoreactivity of the transmitters followed by a decrease in tissue level and density of nerve fibers at 16 and 25 wk after induction of diabetes. The second response, which involves 5-hydroxytryptamine, substance P, and calcitonin gene-related peptide, was characterized by changes in tissue level and immunoreactivity of the transmitters with no evidence of degeneration. The third feature was one of resistance to change due to diabetes, which was demonstrated by neuropeptide Y-containing nerves, where there was neither a change in tissue level of neuropeptide Y nor a change in immunoreactivity. It seems likely that the overall changes described will have profound implications in the function of the gut in the streptozotocin-diabetic rat model that may have some parallels in diabetic humans.

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