Alterations in hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal insulin signaling pathway in rat with metabolic syndrome

Document Type : Original Article


1 Kafkas University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Kars, Turkey

2 Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Ankara, Turkey

3 Lokman Hekim University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Ankara, Turkey

4 Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Ankara, Turkey


Objective(s): We aimed to examine the level of hippocampal neurogenesis, and assess learning and anxiety and the level of some proteins involving insulin signaling pathways in rats with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS); and to reveal the relationship among them.
Materials and Methods: Totally, 30 Wistar-albino rats were used. The rats were divided into three groups: Control, MetS, and MetS+Ins. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to evaluate the levels of neurogenesis markers; Doublecortin (DCX), Neuronal-Differentiation-1 (NeuroD1), Ki67, and Neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN). Then, cleaved caspase-3 and TUNEL labeling were performed to detect the level of apoptosis. Additionally, behavior tests were performed to evaluate the learning-memory levels and anxiety-like behaviors. Insulin, Insulin Receptor (IR), Insulin Receptor Substrate (IRS2), glucose transporter (GLUT)-3, and GLUT4 protein expression levels were analyzed to evaluate the possible changes in the insulin signaling pathway. 
Results: An increase in anxiety with memory deficiency was observed in MetS. In the hippocampus of MetS, an increase was detected in the level of apoptosis, whereas a decrease was detected in the expression level of the neurogenesis marker. Insulin secretion and IR levels decreased in hippocampal neurons. We observed that GLUT3 and GLUT4 levels increased because of the non-activated insulin signaling pathway. 
Conclusion: We think that the insulin signaling pathway may have an effect on the decreased neurogenesis in the MetS group. So, the evaluation of the Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and the investigation of the effect of endoplasmic reticulum stress on this pathway will be among the targets of our future studies. 


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