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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2009, Article ID 329632, 12 pages
Research Article

Structural and Ultrastructural Analysis of Cerebral Cortex, Cerebellum, and Hypothalamus from Diabetic Rats

1Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas Dr. Américo Negrette, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo 4001-A, Zulia, Venezuela
2Cátedra de Inmunologia, Escuela de Bioanalisis, Facultad de Medicina, Maracaibo 4001-A, Zulia, Venezuela
3Instituto de Investigaciones Odontológicas, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo 4001-A, Zulia, Venezuela

Received 28 March 2009; Accepted 15 July 2009

Academic Editor: Eva L. Feldman

Copyright © 2009 Juan P. Hernández-Fonseca 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.


Autonomic and peripheral neuropathies are well-described complications in diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is also associated to central nervous system damage. This little-known complication is characterized by impairment of brain functions and electrophysiological changes associated with neurochemical and structural abnormalities. The purpose of this study was to investigate brain structural and ultrastructural changes in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, and cerebellum were obtained from controls and 8 weeks diabetic rats. Light and electron microscope studies showed degenerative changes of neurons and glia, perivascular and mitochondrial swelling, disarrangement of myelin sheath, increased area of myelinated axons, presynaptic vesicle dispersion in swollen axonal boutoms, fragmentation of neurofilaments, and oligodendrocyte abnormalities. In addition, depressive mood was observed in diabetic animals. The brain morphological alterations observed in diabetic animals could be related to brain pathologic process leading to abnormal function, cellular death, and depressive behavioral.