Plasma Corticosterone, Motor Activity and Metabolic Circadian Patterns in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

Chronobiol Int. 1988;5(2):127-35. doi: 10.3109/07420528809079553.


Experiments were conducted in male rats to study the effects of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on circadian rhythms of (a) plasma corticosterone concentrations; (b) motor activity; and (c) metabolic patterns. Animals were entrained to LD cycles of 12:12 hr and fed ad libitum. A daily rhythm of plasma corticosterone concentrations was found in controls animals with peak levels at 2400 hr and low values during the remaining hours. This rhythm was statistically confirmed by the cosinor method and had an amplitude of 3.37 micrograms/100 ml and the acrophase at 100 hr. A loss of the normal circadian variation was observed in diabetic animals, with a nadir at the onset of light period and high values throughout the remaining hours; cosinor analysis of these data showed no circadian rhythm, delete and a higher mean level than controls. As expected, normal rats presented most of their motor activity during the dark period with 80% of total daily activity; the cosinor method demonstrated a circadian rhythm with an amplitude of 60% of the mean level and the acrophase at 0852 hr. Both diabetic and control rats showed a similar activity during the light phase, but diabetic animals had less activity than controls during the night and their percentage of total daily activity was similar in both phases of the LD cycle (50% for each one). With the cosinor method we were able to show the persistence of a circadian rhythm in the motor activity of diabetic rats, but with a mesor and amplitude lower than in controls (amplitude rested at 60% of the mean level) and its acrophase advanced to 0148 hr.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Motor Activity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Corticosterone