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J Neurochem. 1996 Aug;67(2):742-51.

Brain insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA content is reduced in insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Physiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 805231, USA.


Diabetic encephalopathy, characterized by structural, electrophysiological, neurochemical, and cognitive abnormalities, is observed in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-IDDM (NIDDM). Identification of early biochemical lesions potentially may provide clues pointing to its pathogenesis. Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are neurotrophic factors that recently have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. Because IGF-II is the predominant IGF in adult brain, we tested the hypothesis that IGF-II gene expression is decreased in the CNS in both IDDM and NIDDM. Brain and spinal cord were isolated from streptozotocin-diabetic rats, a model of IDDM with weight loss and impaired insulin production. IGF-II mRNA content was measured by northern and slot blots. After 2 weeks of diabetes, IGF-II mRNA content per milligram of tissue wet weight, as well as per unit of poly(A)+ RNA, declined significantly (p < or = 0.05) in brain and spinal cord. Insulin replacement therapy partially restored IGF-II mRNA levels in brain, cortex, medulla, and spinal cord. The obese, hyperinsulinemic, and spontaneously diabetic (fa/fa) Zucker rat was used as a model of NIDDM. Brain weight (p < 0.025) and IGF-II mRNA contents (p < 0.01) were significantly decreased in (fa/fa) versus lean nondiabetic (+ /?) rats. Therefore, the decline in IGF-II mRNA levels in diabetic brain was independent of the type of diabetes, the direction of change in body weight, and the insulinemic state. We speculate that this early biochemical lesion may contribute to the development of diabetic encephalopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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