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Chin J Physiol. 2017 Feb 28;60(1):23-31.

Regulation of blood glucose level by kainic acid in mice: involvement of glucocorticoid system and non-NMDA receptors.

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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Natural Medicine, College of Medicine Hallym University, 39 Hallymdaehak-gil, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do 200-702, Republic of Korea.


Kainic acid (KA) is a well-known excitatory neurotoxic substance. In the present study, effects of KA-injected intraperitoneally (i.p.), intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) or intrathecally (i.t.) on the blood glucose level were investigated in ICR mice. We found that KA administered intraperitoneally (i.p.), intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) or intrathecally (i.t.) increased the blood glucose and corticosterone levels, suggesting that KA-induced hyperglycemia appeared to be due to increased blood corticosterone level. In support of this finding, adrenalectomy causes a reduction of KA-induced hyperglycemia and neuronal cell death in CA3 regions of the hippocampus. In addition, pretreatment with i.c.v. or i.t. injection of CNQX (6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione; a non-NMDA receptor blocker) attenuated the i.p. and i.c.v. administered KA-induced hyperglycemia. KA administered i.c.v. caused an elevation of the blood corticosterone level whereas the plasma insulin level was reduced. Moreover, i.c.v. pretreatment with CNQX inhibited the decrease of plasma insulin level induced by KA i.c.v. injection, whereas the KA-induced plasma corticosterone level was further enhanced by CNQX pretreatment. Our results suggest that KA administered systemically or centrally produces hyperglycemia. A glucocorticoid system appears to be involved in KA-induced hyperglycemia. Furthermore, central non-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors may be responsible for KA-induced hyperglycemia.


CNQX; glucocorticoid; hyperglycemia; kainic acid; spinal; supraspinal

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