The plasma glycoprotein, dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH), is present in markedly increased amounts in experimental, streptozocin (STZ)-diabetic rats, reaching a maximum at about the first week and maintaining a plateau for several months afterward. High glycemia values are observed simultaneously. Insulin treatment is observed to keep the glycemia and plasma DBH activity values at levels seen in control rats. The heterologous half-life of DBH in STZ-diabetic rats is significantly increased compared with that of control animals. The glucose analogue, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, has a similar effect on plasma DBH activity levels, eliciting high glycemia values. In STZ-diabetic animals, this increase is more significant, as if it were the additive effect of the two sugars. Other sugars that can compete for glycoprotein catabolic receptors can also modulate the plasma DBH activity levels. The lack of effect of galactose on DBH levels, together with the induced increase of DBH by α-methyl-D-mannoside and, to a lesser extent, by inulin, suggest an important rate for the mannose/glucose/N-acetyl glucosamine/fructose receptor in the catabolic clearance of DBH from plasma and explain the abnormal values seen for DBH in diabetes mellitus.

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