Diabetes-induced neuroendocrine changes in rats: Role of brain monoamines, insulin and leptin

Matthew Barber, Badrinarayanan S. Kasturi, Maureen E. Austin, Kaushik P. Patel, Sheba M.J. MohanKumar, P. S. MohanKumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Diabetes is characterized by hyperphagia, polydypsia and activation of the HPA axis. However, the mechanisms by which diabetes produces these effects are not clear. This study was conducted to examine the effects of diabetes on the neuroendocrine system and to see if treatment with insulin and/or leptin is capable of reversing these effects. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic adult male rats were subjected to the following treatments: vehicle, insulin (2 U/day, s.c.), leptin (100 μg/kg BW) or leptin+insulin every day for 2 weeks. Food intake, water intake, and body weight were monitored daily. We measured changes in monoamine concentrations in discrete nuclei of the hypothalamus at the end of treatment. Diabetes produced a marked increase in food intake and water intake and this effect was completely reversed by insulin treatment and partially reversed by leptin treatment (P<0.05). Diabetes caused an increase in norepinephrine (NE) concentrations in the paraventricular nucleus with a concurrent increase in serum corticosterone. Treatment with insulin and leptin completely reversed these effects. Induction of diabetes also increased the concentrations of NE, dopamine and serotonin in the arcuate nucleus and NE concentrations in the lateral hypothalamus, ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) and suprachiasmatic nucleus (P<0.05). Although insulin treatment was capable of reversing all these changes, leptin treatment was unable to decrease diabetes-induced increase in NE concentrations in the VMH. These data provide evidence that hypothalamic monoamines could mediate the neuroendocrine effects of diabetes and that insulin and leptin act as important signals in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2003


  • Diabetes
  • Hypothalamus
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Monoamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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