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Endocrinology. 1997 Jan;138(1):62-8.

Short-term insulin treatment prevents the diabetogenic action of streptozotocin in rats.

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University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute, Denmark.


Streptozotocin, which induces diabetes mellitus in experimental animals, has been reported to be taken up by beta-cells by means of the glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) and then reduce the cellular level of NAD+, leading to necrosis of the beta-cells. We investigated the effect of insulin pretreatment on the diabetogenic action of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg). Four groups of rats were studied: 1) a group that received streptozotocin (STZ), 2) a group that received insulin pretreatment and streptozotocin (INS + STZ), 3) a group that received insulin (INS), and 4) a control group (CTRL). Insulin treatment reduced the beta-cell immunoreactivity (IR) of insulin and GLUT2, which, thus, was reduced in INS + STZ rats at the time of streptozotocin injection. In STZ rats, plasma insulin concentrations after 3 weeks as well as insulin concentrations in pancreatic tissue samples were significantly lower than those in CTRL rats [plasma, 274.3 +/- 101.9 vs. 1078.8 +/- 254.9 pmol/liter (P < 0.05); tissue, 0.46 +/- 0.02 vs. 117.0 +/- 28.4 nmol/g (P < 0.01)]. INS + STZ rats did not become hyperglycemic, and the plasma and tissue levels of insulin were higher than those in STZ rats [plasma, 538.3 +/- 80.1 vs. 274.3 +/- 101.9 pmol/liter (P = 0.08); tissue, 0.46 +/- 0.02 vs. 37.90 +/- 2.13 nmol/g (P < 0.05)]. The immunohistochemical findings of insulin IR in the pancreatic tissues were in accordance with the results obtained by RIA. We conclude that exogenous insulin suppresses the expression of GLUT2 and insulin in beta-cells, and this may prevent the diabetogenic effect of streptozotocin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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