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Mol Med Rep. 2018 Apr;17(4):5132-5142. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2018.8504. Epub 2018 Jan 26.

Evaluation of type 2 diabetic mellitus animal models via interactions between insulin and mitogen‑activated protein kinase signaling pathways induced by a high fat and sugar diet and streptozotocin.

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Department of Pharmacology of Traditional Chinese Medicine, The Fifth Clinical Medical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510095, P.R. China.
Department of Chinese Medicine Immunity, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, P.R. China.
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Research and Development in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Province Engineering Technology Research Institute of TCM, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510405, P.R. China.


Type 2 diabetic mellitus (T2DM), which is characterized by insulin resistance (IR), hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, is a comprehensive dysfunction of metabolism. The insulin receptor (INSR)/phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway is well acknowledged as a predominant pathway associated with glucose uptake; however, the effect of streptozotocin (STZ) plus a high fat and sugar diet (HFSD) on the proteins associated with this pathway requires further elucidation. In order to explore this effect, a T2DM rat model was constructed to investigate T2DM pathogenesis and potential therapeutic advantages. Rats were randomly divided into control and model groups, including normal diet (ND) and HFSD types. ND types were administered intraperitoneal (IP) injections of STZ (35 mg/kg) or a combination of STZ and alloxan monohydrate (AON) (40 mg/kg), whereas HFSD types were composed of HFSD pre‑given, post‑given and simul‑given groups, and were modeled as follows: IP or intramuscular (IM) injection of STZ (35 mg/kg) or a combination of STZ and AON (40 mg/kg). Results indicated that, compared with controls, blood glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment‑insulin resistance and total triglyceride were significantly elevated in groups with HFSD and modeling agents (P<0.05 or P<0.01), whereas total cholesterol and low‑density lipoprotein levels were significantly elevated in groups simultaneously administered HFSD and modeling agents (P<0.05 or P<0.01), in addition to downregulation of the expression of insulin signaling pathway proteins in the liver, including INSR, PI3K, AKT1, phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4‑kinase type‑2α (PIP5Kα) and glucose transporter (GLUT)2, and increased expression of inflammatory factors, including p38, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α and interleukin (IL)6. Furthermore, compared with other two HFSD types including pre‑given and post‑given group, the simul‑given group that received IM injection with STZ exhibited decreased expression levels of major insulin signal pathway proteins INSR, PI3K, AKT1, PIP5Kα, GLUT2 or GLUT4 in the liver and pancreas (P<0.05 or P<0.01), whereas the opposite was observed in the skeletal muscle. In addition, the protein expression levels of phosphorylated‑p38, p38, IL6 and TNFα in the simul‑given group that received IM injection with STZ were increased (P<0.05 or P<0.01), and histopathology also indicated inflammation in pancreas and liver. The present findings suggest that a low dose of STZ may partially impair the β cells of the pancreas, whereas long‑term excess intake of HFSD may increase lipid metabolites, inhibit the insulin signaling pathway and activate the mitogen‑activated protein kinase p38 signaling pathway. The combined action of STZ and AON may result in insulin resistance, which ultimately results in abnormalities in glucose and lipid metabolism. The present model, analogue to T2DM onset of humans, evaluated the medical effect on metabolic dysfunction and provides an insight into the underlining mechanism of IR.

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