Effects of stress on exacerbation of diabetes mellitus, serum glucose and cortisol levels and body weight in rats

Pathophysiology. 2006 Feb 21;13(1):51-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2005.07.001. Epub 2005 Aug 15.


Objective: The effects of stress on the serum glucose, serum cortisol levels and body weight were investigated to clarify the possible link between the stress and diabetes.

Methods: The experiments were performed on nondiabetic and streptozotocin diabetic rats divided to control, sham and stressed groups. Water immersion was used as stressor. After the experiment, blood samples were collected. The serum glucose level (SGL) was measured by the glucose oxidase method and serum cortisol level (SCL) was determined by radioimmunoassay.

Results: Stress caused a significant increase in glucose level in both nondiabetic and diabetic rats. In diabetes rats, a significant increase in SCL was observed. Stress did not cause, however, significant increases in SCL. A significant weight loss took place in rats exposed to stress and that was much greater in diabetic animals.

Conclusion: The stress with mainly psychic component exacerbated the diabetes in streptozotocin treated rats and the glucose levels increased significantly also in nondiabetic controls, but no glucose was detected in their urine.