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Int J Toxicol. 2014 Jul;33(4):325-331. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Aspartame Administration and Insulin Treatment Altered Brain Levels of CYP2E1 and CYP3A2 in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats.

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Laboratorio de Toxicología Genética, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría (INP), CP 04530, DF, México.
Servicio de Endocrinología, INP, Mexico.
Laboratorio de Toxicología Genética, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría (INP), CP 04530, DF, México


This study demonstrates that aspartame consumption and insulin treatment in a juvenile diabetic rat model leads to increase in cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2E1 and CYP3A2 isozymes in brain. Diabetes mellitus was induced in postweaned 21-day-old Wistar male rat by streptozotocin. Animals were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: untreated control, diabetic (D), D-insulin, D-aspartame, or the D-insulin + aspartame-treated group. Brain and liver tissue samples were used to analyze the activity of CYP2E1 and CYP3A2 and protein levels. Our results indicate that combined treatment with insulin and aspartame in juvenile diabetic rats significantly induced CYP2E1 in the cerebrum and cerebellum without modifying it in the liver, while CYP3A2 protein activity increased both in the brain and in the liver. The induction of CYP2E1 in the brain could have important in situ toxicological effects, given that this CYP isoform is capable of bioactivating various toxic substances. Additionally, CYP3A2 induction in the liver and brain could be considered a decisive factor in the variation of drug response and toxicity.


aspartame; brain; cytochrome P450; diabetes; insulin

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