Axonal and dendritic changes are associated with diabetic encephalopathy in rats: an important risk
Axonopathy is closely linked to and promotes diabetic peripheral neuropathy and a subset of neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), but its involvement in the development of diabetic encephalopathy remains unknown. In the present study, we aimed to ascertain the role of axonopathy in the development of diabetic encephalopathy and the possible relationship between diabetic encephalopathy and AD. The streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model was used. A Y-maze task, in vivo neuronal tracing, immunohistochemistry, and western blot analysis were performed to evaluate the cognitive functions, axonal and dendritic changes, and the expressions of amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau in relation to the development of diabetic encephalopathy in this diabetic model. Coincident with significant memory impairment, the diabetic rats showed obvious axonal and dendritic changes, termed axonopathy and dendropathy, respectively, which mainly manifested as the swelling of axons, varicosities, and dendrites in the cognitive-associated brain regions compared to the non-diabetic animals. The site-specific hyperphosphorylated tau, but not deposits of Aβ, was detected in the diabetic rat brains. These data reveal a key role of axonopathy and dendropathy accompanied with the site-specific hyperphosphorylated tau in the course of diabetic encephalopathy, which may be the early link to the neuropathological processes of AD.
Axonal and dendritic changes are associated with diabetic encephalopathy in rats: an important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013 January