Three-month-old male Wistar rats were rendered diabetic with a single intravenous injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg body weight). Two weeks after induction of diabetes, synaptosome-rich fractions were prepared from urinary bladder tissue homogenate of the diabetic rats and control rats by differential centrifugation (1000 x g, 17,000 x g and 100,000 x g) with discontinuous sucrose gradient. Synaptosomal acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine were measured by the method of high-performance liquid chromatography. The respective neurotransmitter concentrations for the diabetic rats were 1537.8 ± 65.3, 4757.7 ± 361.9, 3720.7 ± 276.1, and 2447.8 ± 196.8 pmol/mg synaptosomal protein, respectively; those for the control rats were 338.1 ± 25.0, 1009.0 ± 54.6, 645.3 ± 52.2, and 1426.1 ± 123.9 pmol/mg protein, respectively. Thus, the synaptosomal concentrations for all the measured neurotransmitters were significantly higher in the diabetic rats (P < 0.05 for each comparison). In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that the vesicle-bound acetylcholine and catecholamines in the synaptosome-rich fraction of the urinary bladder were significantly increased in 2-week diabetic rats. This finding would suggest impaired neurotransmitter release from both the bladder sympathetic and parasympathetic efferent nerve endings in early streptozotocin-induced diabetes.
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