The db/db mouse is a widely used preclinical model in diabetes research. Recent studies have shown that these mice also display aspects of psychosis and depression-like behaviors as seen in some psychiatric disorders. Here, we have performed multiplex immunoassay and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry profiling of the plasma and brain samples from db/db and control mice to identify altered pathways, which could be related to these behavioral abnormalities. This is the first study to carry out profiling of the brain proteome in this model. Plasma from the db/db mice had increased levels of leptin and insulin, decreased levels of peptide YY, glucagon and prolactin and alterations in inflammation-related proteins, compared with control mice. Frontal cortex tissue from the db/db mice showed changes in proteins involved in energy metabolism, cellular structure and neural functioning, and the hippocampus had changes in proteins involved in the same pathways, with additional effects on cellular signalling proteins. The overlap of these findings with effects seen in type 2 diabetes, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer's disease might contribute to a common endophenotype seen in metabolic and neurological disorders.

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Translational Psychiatry
Department of Neuroscience

Ernst, A., Sharma, A., Elased, K., Guest, P., Rahmoune, H., & Bahn, S. (2013). Diabetic db/db mice exhibit central nervous system and peripheral molecular alterations as seen in neurological disorders. Translational Psychiatry, 3. doi:10.1038/tp.2013.42