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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 638467, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Bcl-2 Family Gene Expression and Caspase-3 Activity in Hippocampus STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats

1Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience Research Centre, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
3Immunobiochemistry laboratory, Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, Mashhad, Iran

Received 15 January 2008; Revised 12 June 2008; Accepted 8 July 2008

Academic Editor: Ryichi Kikkawa

Copyright © 2008 Iraj Jafari Anarkooli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We assessed the expression of Bcl-2 family members at both mRNA and protein levels as well as the Caspase-3 activity, in order to investigate the occurrence of apoptosis in hippocampus of STZ-induced diabetic rats. We selected twenty-four Wistar rats; half of them were made diabetic by intraperitoneal injection of a single 60 mg/kg dose of streptozotocin (STZ, IP), while the others received normal saline and served as controls. The expressions of Bcl-2, , and Bax mRNA and proteins were measured using RT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Caspases-3 activity was determined by using the Caspase-3/CPP32 Fluorometric Assay Kit. The result showed that mRNA and protein levels of Bcl-2 and were lower in hippocampus of diabetic group than that of the control group, whereas expressions of Bax in hippocampus of diabetic rats were higher than that of controls at both mRNA and protein levels ( ). Hyperglycemia was found to raise 6.9-fold hippocampal caspase-3 activity in diabetic group compared with control group ( ). Therefore, the induction of diabetes is associated with increased ratios of Bax/Bcl-2, Bax/ , and increased caspase-3 activity in hippocampus which shows that apoptosis is favored in hippocampal region.