Thioredoxin-1 overexpression in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus preserves the counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia during type 1 diabetes in male rats

Chunxue Zhou, Vanessa H. Routh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


We previously showed that the glutathione precursor, Nacetylcysteine (NAC), prevented hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure (HAAF) and impaired activation of ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons by low glucose after recurrent hypoglycemia (RH) in nondiabetic rats. However, NAC does not normalize glucose sensing by VMH GI neurons when RH occurs during diabetes. We hypothesized that recruiting the thioredoxin (Trx) antioxidant defense system would prevent HAAF and normalize glucose sensing after RH in diabetes. To test this hypothesis, we overexpressed Trx-1 (cytosolic form of Trx) in the VMH of rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes. The counterregulatory response (CRR) to hypoglycemia in vivo and the activation of VMH GI neurons in low glucose using membrane potential sensitive dye in vitro was measured before and after RH. VMH Trx-1 overexpression normalized both the CRR and glucose sensing by VMH GI neurons in STZ rats. VMH Trx-1 overexpression also lowered the insulin requirement to prevent severe hyperglycemia in STZ rats. However, like NAC, VMH Trx-1 overexpression did not prevent HAAF or normalize activation of VMH GI neurons by low glucose in STZ rats after RH. We conclude that preventing HAAF in type 1 diabetes may require the recruitment of both antioxidant systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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