Excitatory GABAergic Action and Increased Vasopressin Synthesis in Hypothalamic Magnocellular Neurosecretory Cells Underlie the High Plasma Level of Vasopressin in Diabetic Rats


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with increased plasma levels of arginine-vasopressin (AVP), which may aggravate hyperglycemia and nephropathy. However, the mechanisms by which DM may cause the increased AVP levels are not known. Electrophysiological recordings in supraoptic nucleus (SON) slices from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DM rats and vehicle-treated control rats revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) functions generally as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the AVP neurons of STZ rats, whereas it usually evokes inhibitory responses in the cells of control animals. Furthermore, Western blotting analyses of Cl transporters in the SON tissues indicated that Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter isotype 1 (a Cl importer) was upregulated and K+-Cl cotransporter isotype 2 (KCC2; a Cl extruder) was downregulated in STZ rats. Treatment with CLP290 (a KCC2 activator) significantly lowered blood AVP and glucose levels in STZ rats. Last, investigation that used rats expressing an AVP-enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion gene showed that AVP synthesis in AVP neurons was much more intense in STZ rats than in control rats. We conclude that altered Cl homeostasis that makes GABA excitatory and enhanced AVP synthesis are important changes in AVP neurons that would increase AVP secretion in DM. Our data suggest that Cl transporters in AVP neurons are potential targets of antidiabetes treatments.

  • Received September 4, 2017.
  • Accepted November 20, 2017.

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