Transcriptional networks of progressive diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes: An inflammatory story

Exp Neurol. 2018 Jul;305:33-43. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2018.03.011. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes and a source of considerable morbidity. Numerous molecular pathways are linked to neuropathic progression, but it is unclear whether these pathways are altered throughout the course of disease. Moreover, the methods by which these molecular pathways are analyzed can produce significantly different results; as such it is often unclear whether previously published pathways are viable targets for novel therapeutic approaches. In the current study we examine changes in gene expression patterns in the sciatic nerve (SCN) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of db/db diabetic mice at 8, 16, and 24 weeks of age using microarray analysis. Following the collection and verification of gene expression data, we utilized both self-organizing map (SOM) analysis and differentially expressed gene (DEG) analysis to detect pathways that were altered at all time points. Though there was some variability between SOM and DEG analyses, we consistently detected altered immune pathways in both the SCN and DRG over the course of disease. To support these results, we further used multiplex analysis to assess protein changes in the SCN of diabetic mice; we found that multiple immune molecules were upregulated at both early and later stages of disease. In particular, we found that matrix metalloproteinase-12 was highly upregulated in microarray and multiplex data sets suggesting it may play a role in disease progression.

Keywords: Diabetes; Diabetic peripheral neuropathy; Gene expression analysis; Immune system; Inflammation; Microarray; Mouse models; Self-organizing map; db/db.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / genetics
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / immunology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / physiology*
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Inflammation Mediators