Structural, metabolic and endocrine analysis of the diabetes (db/db) hypogonadal syndrome: relationship to hypophyseal hypercytolipidemia
Age- and diabetes-related neuronal degenerative changes were morphometrically evaluated in the arcuate (ARC) and ventromedial (VMH) hypothalamic nuclei of control (+/?) and diabetic (db/db) C57BL/KsJ mice between 4 and 16 weeks of age. By 4 weeks of age, (db/db) mice exhibited marked obesity and hyperglycemia relative to controls. An increase in the population of degenerated ARC neurons was detected at 8 weeks of age in (db/db) mice relative to (+/?) animals. By 16 weeks of age, a significant increase in the number of degenerated VMH neurons in (db/db) mice was found, relative to controls. In addition, the neuronal density (neurons/mm2 area of nucleus) of both the ARC and VMH nuclei was found to be depressed in (db/db) mice, relative to controls, by 16 weeks of age. These data suggest that the normal degenerative loss of ARC and VMH neurons that occurs with age in normal mice is enhanced in the (db/db) mouse. These findings suggest that a functional alteration in hypothalamic nuclei which are recognized to modulate autonomic, pancreatic and pituitary activity may be associated with the onset or expression of the diabetic condition in the C57BL/KsJ (db/db) mouse.