Adult neural stem cell dysfunction in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle leads to diabetic olfactory defects

Neural Regen Res. 2017 Jul;12(7):1111-1118. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.211190.


Sensitive smell discrimination is based on structural plasticity of the olfactory bulb, which depends on migration and integration of newborn neurons from the subventricular zone. In this study, we examined the relationship between neural stem cell status in the subventricular zone and olfactory function in rats with diabetes mellitus. Streptozotocin was injected through the femoral vein to induce type 1 diabetes mellitus in Sprague-Dawley rats. Two months after injection, olfactory sensitivity was decreased in diabetic rats. Meanwhile, the number of BrdU-positive and BrdU+/DCX+ double-labeled cells was lower in the subventricular zone of diabetic rats compared with age-matched normal rats. Western blot results revealed downregulated expression of insulin receptor β, phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3β, and β-catenin in the subventricular zone of diabetic rats. Altogether, these results indicate that diabetes mellitus causes insulin deficiency, which negatively regulates glycogen synthase kinase 3β and enhances β-catenin degradation, with these changes inhibiting neural stem cell proliferation. Further, these signaling pathways affect proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone. Dysfunction of subventricular zone neural stem cells causes a decline in olfactory bulb structural plasticity and impairs olfactory sensitivity in diabetic rats.

Keywords: adult neural stem cells; diabetic encephalopathy; differentiation; glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta; insulin; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; olfactory function; proliferation; rats; subventricular zone; type 1 diabetes mellitus; β-catenin.