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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Aug 2022 - 2 Sep 2022

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Aug 19

Int J Mol Sci



SEPT9 Upregulation in Satellite Glial Cells Associated with Diabetic Polyneuropathy in a Type 2 Diabetes-like Rat Model.



Despite the worldwide prevalence and severe complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) are poorly understood. Beyond strict control of glucose levels, clinical trials for reversing DPN have largely failed. Therefore, understanding the pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms underlying DPN is crucial. Accordingly, this study explored biochemical and neuropathological deficits in a rat model of T2DM induced through high-fat diet (HFD) feeding along with two low-dose streptozotocin (STZ) injections; the deficits were explored through serum lipid, neurobehavioral, neurophysiology, neuropathology, and immunohistochemistry examinations. Our HFD/STZ protocol induced (1) mechanical hyperalgesia and depression-like behaviors, (2) loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) and reduced axonal diameters in sural nerves, and (3) decreased compound muscle action potential. In addition to hyperglycemia, which was correlated with the degree of mechanical hyperalgesia and loss of IENFs, we observed that hypertriglyceridemia was the most dominant deficit in the lipid profiles of the diabetic rats. In particular, SEPT9, the fourth component of the cytoskeleton, increased in the satellite glial cells (SGCs) of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in the T2DM-like rats. The number of SEPT9(+) SGCs/DRG was correlated with serum glucose levels and mechanical thresholds. Our findings indicate the putative molecular mechanism underlying DPN, which presumably involves the interaction of SGCs and DRG neurons; nevertheless, further functional research is warranted to clarify the role of SEPT9 in DPN.