Impact of hypoglycemia and diabetes on CNS: correlation of mitochondrial oxidative stress with DNA damage

Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 May;260(1-2):153-9. doi: 10.1023/b:mcbi.0000026067.08356.13.


Oxidative stress plays an important role in tissue damage caused by hypoglycemia and diabetes, which may be the result of deterioration in glucose homeostasis caused by these metabolic disorders. The present study examined the effects of insulin-induced hypoglycemia and streptozotocin induced diabetes on mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes from different brain regions, namely, cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, brain stem and diencephalon. In situ localization of DNA single strand breaks (SSBs) were also studied by DNA polymerase-I mediated biotin dATP labeled nick translation method after inducing hypoglycemia and diabetes. Significant decrease in mitochondrial catalase, manganese superoxide-dismutase (Mn-SOD) and reduced glutathione (GSH) content and increase in the lipid peroxidation (LPx) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity was observed under these metabolic stress conditions with more pronounced effects in hypoglycemic group. We conclude that during severe energy deprivation following hypoglycemia and diabetes, mitochondrial free radicals scavenger system is down regulated, which leads to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. High levels of ROS in turn activate the processes leading to DNA damage. DNA SSBs, which indicates nuclear disintegration is an important feature of neuronal cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione