Insulin replacement restores the vesicular secretory apparatus in the diabetic rat lacrimal gland
ABSTRACT Purpose: In the lacrimal gland (LG) acinar cells, signaling regulates the release of secretory vesicles through specific Rab and SNARE exocytotic proteins. In diabetes mellitus (DM), the LGs are dysfunctional. The aim of this work was to determine if secretory apparatus changes were associated with any effects on the secretory vesicles (SV) in diabetic rats as well as the expression levels of constituent Rab and members of the SNARE family, and if insulin supplementation reversed those changes. Methods: DM was induced in male Wistar rats with an intravenous dose of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg). One of the two diabetic groups was then treated every other day with insulin (1 IU). A third control group was injected with vehicle. After 10 weeks, Western blotting and RT-PCR were used to compared the Rab and SNARE secretory factor levels in the LGs. Transmission electron microscopy evaluated acinar cell SV density and integrity. Results: In the diabetes mellitus group, there were fewer and enlarged SV. The Rab 27b, Rab 3d, and syntaxin-1 protein expression declined in the rats with diabetes mellitus. Insulin treatment restored the SV density and the Rab 27b and syntaxin expression to their control protein levels, whereas the Vamp 2 mRNA expression increased above the control levels. Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus LG changes were associated with the declines in protein expression levels that were involved in supporting exocytosis and vesicular formation. They were partially reversed by insulin replacement therapy. These findings may help to improve therapeutic management of dry eye in diabetes mellitus.