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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1999 Apr;26(4):347-53.

Intracellular Ca2+ and adrenergic responsiveness of cardiac myocytes in streptozotocin-induced diabetes.

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Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


1. The contractile function of diabetic hearts is impaired. In addition, the responsiveness of diabetic cardiac muscle to sympathetic stimulation is altered. Previous studies have revealed a depressed response to beta-adrenoceptor stimulation; however, the response to alpha-adrenoceptor activation remains controversial. Because alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor agonists increase cardiac contractility, largely through increased mobilization of intracellular Ca2+, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor stimulation on intracellular Ca2+ handling in cardiac myocytes from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. 2. Intracellular Ca2+ was measured using fura-2. Under basal conditions (27 degrees C, 2.5 mmol/L extracellular [Ca2+], 0.3 Hz stimulation), there was no significant difference in resting or peak Ca2+ levels between control and diabetic cardiomyocytes. However, the time course of the intracellular Ca2+ transient was significantly prolonged in cells from diabetic hearts. 3. The beta-adrenoceptor agonist orciprenaline (at 10(-7) and 10(-6) mol/L) increased the amplitude of the Ca2+ transient in both groups; however, the extent of potentiation was less in diabetic compared with control cardiomyocytes. Orciprenaline decreased the duration of the transient to the same extent in both groups. 4. The alpha-adrenoceptor agonist phenylephrine (at 10(-7) and 10(-6) mol/L) had no effect on the Ca2+ transient in control myocytes but caused a significant concentration-dependent increase in its amplitude in diabetic cardiomyocytes. Phenylephrine had no effect on the time course of the transient in either group. 5. These results demonstrate differential effects of insulin-dependent diabetes on the responsiveness of cardiomyocytes to alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor stimulation. The heightened response to alpha-adrenoceptor stimulation observed in diabetic cardiomyocytes may partly compensate for the diminished myocardial beta-adrenoceptor response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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