Noradrenergic activity in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) is increased and activates a sympathoadrenal response during hypoglycemia. How the rate at which hypoglycemia develops affects local glucose concentrations and norepinephrine (NE) release was evaluated by placing microdialysis probes into the VMH of male Sprague-Dawley rats receiving insulin (20mU/kg*min-1) and variable glucose infusions. During a first episode of hypoglycemia, interstitial glucose concentrations in the VMH generally declined at the same rate as plasma glucose; however, the faster hypoglycemia developed, the greater the magnitude of the initial NE release in the VMH (r2=0.72, p<.001). Following recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia, VMH glucose decreased at a slower rate than plasma glucose and the initial NE release was attenuated at the same rates of blood glucose decline. The plasma glucose threshold for the initial NE release in VMH was similar for all groups (~3.23 mM); however, the VMH glucose threshold was stimulated was lower when blood glucose declined more slowly (0.86 ± 0.06 vs 1.06 ± 0.04 mMol/L, p<0.01). The timing of the initial increase in NE release in VMH corresponded with an increase in plasma epinephrine during the first episode of hypoglycemia but not following recurrent hypoglycemia. Although a decrease in VMH glucose concentration is required for noradrenergic activation in VMH, there does not appear to be a set glucose threshold within the VMH for activation of this response.
- Hypoglycemia Associated Autonomic Failure
- Glucose Homeostasis
- Sympathoadrenal Response
- Copyright © 2011, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology