The sympathoadrenal counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia is critical for individuals with type 1 diabetes due to impaired ability to produce glucagon. Ketogenic diets (KD) are an increasingly popular diabetes management tool; however, the effects of KD on the sympathoadrenal response are largely unknown. Here, we determined the effects of KD-induced ketosis on the sympathoadrenal response to a single insulin-induced hypoglycemic challenge. We investigated how a 3 week KD feeding regimen affected the main components of the sympathoadrenal counterregulatory response: adrenal sympathetic nerve activity (ASNA), adrenal gland activity, plasma epinephrine, and brainstem glucose-responsive C1 neuronal activation in anesthetized, nondiabetic male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats on KD had similar blood glucose (BG) levels and elevated ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels compared to the control Chow diet group. All KD rats responded to hypoglycemia with a robust increase in ASNA, which was initiated at significantly lower BG levels compared to Chow-fed rats. The delay in hypoglycemia-induced ASNA increase was concurrent with rapid disappearance of BHB from cerebral and peripheral circulation. Adrenal gland activity paralleled epinephrine and ASNA response. Overall, KD-induced ketosis was associated with initiation of the sympathoadrenal response at lower blood glucose levels; however, the magnitude of the response was not diminished.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited