Diabetes, and its treatment, as an effector of autonomic nervous system circuits and its functions

Liliana Espinoza, Carie R. Boychuk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular complications, including heart failure, hypertension, and stroke. There is a strong involvement of autonomic dysfunction in individuals with diabetes that exhibit clinical manifestations of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Still, the mechanisms by which diabetes and its treatments alter autonomic function and subsequently affect cardiovascular complications remain elusive. For this reason, understanding the brainstem circuits involved in sensing metabolic state(s) and enacting autonomic control of the cardiovascular system are important to develop more comprehensive therapies for individuals with diabetes at increased risk for CVD. We review how autonomic nervous system circuits change during these disease states and discuss their potential role in current pharmacotherapies that target diabetic states. Overall, this review proposes that the brainstem circuits provide an integrative sensorimotor network capable of responding to metabolic cues to regulate cardiovascular function and this network is modified by, and in turn affects, diabetes-induced CVD and its treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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