KATP Channels Function in the Peripheral and Central Nervous Systems in a Mouse Model of Type 2 Diabetes

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      Over 50% of individuals with type 2 diabetes eventually develop diabetic neuropathy. There is a need for increased knowledge in how diabetes affects structural and molecular changes in the nervous system, and how current diabetes interventions affect the progression of chronic pain. Loss of KATP channel activity or function could cause nerve fiber hypersensitivity and consequently increased pain sensitivity due to neuron depolarization. Diabetic neuropathy was induced in male and female C57Bl6 mice over a total of 16 weeks by feeding the animals a high-fat diet (HFD) or corresponding control diet (12330 and 12328, Research Diets Inc., New Brunswick, NJ) for over 16 weeks. Mice on the HFD for at longer than 8 weeks have significantly lower mechanical thresholds and compared to control diet mice. Decreased expression of KATP channel subunits in the spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglia were correlated with decreased mechanical paw withdrawal thresholds. Mice fed a HFD also have decreased analgesia to systemic morphine (0-20 mg/kg, s.c.), which is exacerbated after systemic treatment with glyburide or nateglinide for four weeks, (KATP channel antagonist, glyburide or nateglinide, 50 mg/kg/day, IP or vehicle, 5% DMSO + 0.5% Tween). Upregulation of KATP channels using a viral vector strategy increased paw withdrawal thresholds to systemic morphine. Diabetes affects many adults including those with prediabetes and new-onset diabetes. It is clear that novel biomarkers and pharmaceutical targets are needed in order to (1) confront the demand for new treatments that better manage and (2) identify patients that may develop diabetic neuropathy. Further investigation of KATP channel expression and function during chronic pain syndromes, including diabetic neuropathy, may help to find sufficient treatment options for patients. This work was supported through a University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Faculty Development Grant to AHK and MLG. Funding also provided by the NIH: K01 DA042902, R01 DA051876, and UL1TR002494 (AHK).
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