l n l-Abstract: The increasing incidence of diabetes and HIV/AIDS–diabetes comorbidity in society has led to the prevalence of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in diabetes, with some reported neural effects. Therefore, the effects of cART and type two diabetes (T2D) on the hippocampal levels of cytokines, lipid peroxidation; histomorphology and neurogenesis were investigated. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into four groups: DB (diabetic rats); DAV (diabetic rats treated with cART (efavirenz, emtricitabine and tenofovir); AV (normal rats treated with cART) and the NC group (with no treatment). Following ninety days of treatment, the rats were terminated, and the brains excised. Immunoassay (IL-1α, IL-6, TNFα and MDA); immunohistochemical (Ki67 and DCX) and cresyl violet histomorphology analyses were carried out on brain homogenates and sections, respectively. In comparison to the control, the results showed that cART significantly elevated the IL-6, TNFα and MDA levels, while DB and DAV significantly reduced the body weight, glucose tolerance, IL-1α, IL-6, TNFα and MDA levels. The hippocampal neuronal number was reduced in AV (dentate gyrus; DG region), in the DB group (Cornu Ammonis subregion 1; CA1 and DG regions only) and in DAV (all three hippocampal regions). Additionally, the expression of neurogenic markers Ki67 and doublecortin (DCX) were reduced in the diabetic group, with a greater reduction in the cART+T2D group compared to the control. Furthermore, the neuronal number at all hippocampal regions was negatively corelated with the diabetic parameters (FBG; fasting blood glucose, NFBG; non-fasting blood glucose, AUC; area under the glucose tolerance curve) but positively correlated with body weight. Additionally, the increase in the DG neuronal nuclei area of DB and DAV was significantly positively correlated with FBG, NFBG and AUC and inversely correlated with the estimated number of neurons and neurogenesis. These findings indicate that cART in diabetes (DAV) has similar effects as diabetes relative to the induction of oxidative stress and impairment of the cytokine immune response, but exacerbated neurotoxicity is observed in DAV, as shown by a significantly decreased DCX expression compared to DB and reduction in the number of Cornu Ammonis subregion 3 (CA3) hippocampal neurons, unlike in cART or the diabetes-alone groups.
- hippocampus microstructure