Deferoxamine regulates neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in rats with diabetes-induced cognitive dysfunction

  • Motahareh Zeinivand
  • Arezo NahavandiEmail author
  • Mahdie Zare
Original Article


Diabetic encephalopathy, a major complication of diabetes, is characterized by cognitive impairment and structural and neurochemical abnormalities. Neuroinflammation following impairment of iron homeostasis is a remarkable feature of several neurological disorders. In the present study, we investigated the role of deferoxamine (DFO), as a clinical iron chelator, in improvement of type 1 diabetes-induced cognitive dysfunction. Streptozotocin was utilized to induce type 1 diabetic in rat model. Animals were categorized into four groups: control, diabetic, diabetic + Iron and diabetic + DFO. Hence, DFO was administered at a dose of 100 mg/kg S.C and iron was administered at a dose of 12 mg/kg P.O for 8 weeks. Finally, Y-maze and passive avoidance were performed. Measurement of IL-6, ferritin, and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression was carried out using ELISA. Our results showed significant increased levels of ferritin (P < 0.001), IL-6 (P < 0.001), MDA (P < 0.01), as well as decreased levels of BDNF (P < 0.001) in the diabetic and iron groups compared to control. Post-treatment with DFO for 8 weeks after the induction of diabetes, markedly reduced levels of ferritin (P < 0.001), IL-6 (P < 0.01), and MDA (P < 0.001), as well as increased levels of BDNF (P < 0.01) compared to the diabetic and iron groups was observed. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the validity of DFO as a good candidate to attenuate cognitive dysfunction following diabetes by targeting oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and modulation of iron homeostasis.


Cognitive dysfunction Neuroinflammation Iron Type 1 diabetes 



This research project was supported by the Iran University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Student Research CommitteeIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Advanced Technologies in MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Neuroscience Research CentreIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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