Cold-induced dishabituation in rodents exposed to recurrent hypoglycaemia

Keeran Vickneson, Jessica Blackburn, Jennifer R. Gallagher, Mark L. Evans, Bastiaan E. de Galan, Ulrik Pedersen-Bjergaard, Bernard Thorens, Alison D. McNeilly, Rory J. McCrimmon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis Recurrent hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes leads to progressive suppression of counterregulatory hormonal responses to subsequent hypoglycaemia. Recently it has been proposed that the mechanism underpinning this is a form of adaptive memory referred to as habituation. To test this hypothesis, we use two different durations of cold exposure to examine whether rodents exposed to recurrent hypoglycaemia exhibit two characteristic features of habituation, namely stimulus generalisation and dishabituation.

Methods In the first study (stimulus generalisation study), hyperinsulinaemic-hypoglycaemic (2.8 mmol/l) glucose clamps were performed in non-diabetic rodents exposed to prior moderate-duration cold (4 degrees C for 3 h) or control conditions. In the second study (dishabituation study), rodents exposed to prior recurrent hypoglycaemia or saline (154 mmol/l NaCl) injections over 4 weeks underwent a longer-duration cold (4 degrees C for 4.5 h) exposure followed 24 h later by a hyperinsulinaemic-hypoglycaemic (2.8 mmol/l) glucose clamp. Output measures were counterregulatory hormone responses during experimental hypoglycaemia.

Results Moderate-duration cold exposure blunted the adrenaline (epinephrine) response (15,266 +/- 1920 vs 7981 +/- 1258 pmol/l, Control vs Cold; p< 0.05) to next day hypoglycaemia in healthy non-diabetic rodents. In contrast, the suppressed adrenaline response (Control 5912 +/- 1417 vs recurrent hypoglycaemia 1836 +/- 736 pmol/l; p < 0.05) that is associated with recurrent hypoglycaemia was restored following longer-duration cold exposure (recurrent hypoglycaemia + Cold 4756 +/- 826 pmol/l; not significant vs Control).

Conclusions/interpretation Non-diabetic rodents exhibit two cardinal features of habituation, namely stimulus generalisation and dishabituation. These findings provide further support for the hypothesis that suppressed counterregulatory responses following exposure to recurrent hypoglycaemia in diabetes result from habituation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1436-1441
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetologia
Volume64
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Cold
  • Counterregulatory responses
  • Habituation
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Impaired awareness
  • Type 1 diabetes

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