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Tolbutamide increases hypothalamic serotonin activity in the rat


Sulfonylureas are potent hypoglycemic agents; however, their mechanism of action remains incompletely understood. Recent data indicate that hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE) plays a major role in mediating the central neural regulation of blood glucose. We therefore examined whether the sulfonylurea tolbutamide might lower serum glucose via an effect on hypothalamic NE neuronal activity, and compared the effects with those of 2-deoxyglucose-induced neuroglycopenia and of chronic insulin administration. Serum glucose levels fell and serum insulin levels rose 10, 20, and 30 min after acute tolbutamide injection. Serum glucose concentrations were reduced after chronic tolbutamide administered in drinking water, but serum insulin did not change. Hypothalamic NE neuronal activity was increased 10 min after tolbutamide administration, but not at the later times, nor during chronic tolbutamide administration. However, consistent with a rise in serotonin (5-HT) neuronal activity, hypothalamic 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and the 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio rose 30 min after acute tolbutamide and during chronic tolbutamide administration. This rise was not due to neuroglycopenia per se, since hypothalamic NE neuronal activity was increased and hypothalamic 5-HT neuronal activity was reduced after 2-deoxyglucose-induced neuroglycopenia. Furthermore, the effect of chronic tolbutamide contrasted with that of chronic insulin administration where hypothalamic NE neuronal activity was increased, while hypothalamic 5-HT neuronal activity was unchanged. We conclude that tolbutamide does not lower serum glucose via a direct effect on hypothalamic NE neuronal activity; however, we note that tolbutamide specifically increases hypothalamic 5-HT neuronal activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Type Journal
ISBN 0012-1797 (Print)
Authors Grunstein, H. S.;Smythe, G. A.;Bradshaw, J. E.;Compton, P. J. :
Publisher Name DIABETES
Published Date 1986-01-01
Published Volume 35
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 475-80
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version