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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2000 Jan;78(1):12-9.

Effects of diabetes and hypertension on myocardial Na+-Ca2+ exchange.

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Cardiac Membrane Research Laboratory, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.


Abnormalities in cardiac function have been extensively documented in experimental and clinical diabetes. These aberrations are well known to be exaggerated when hypertension and diabetes co-exist. The objective of the present study was to examine whether alterations in the activity of the myocardial Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) can account for the deleterious effects of diabetes and (or) hypertension on the heart. To this aim, the following experimental groups were studied: (i) control; (ii) diabetic; (iii) hypertensive; and (iv) hypertensive-diabetic. Wistar rats served as the control group (C) while Wistar rats injected with streptozotocin (STZ, 55 mg/kg) served as the diabetic (D) group. Spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats were used as the hypertensive group (H) while SH rats injected with STZ served as the hypertensive-diabetic (HD) group. Sarcolemma was isolated from the ventricles of the C, D, H, and HD groups and NCX activity was examined using rapid quenching techniques to study initial rates over a [Ca2+]o range of 10-160 microM. The Vmax of NCX was lower in the D group when compared with the C group (D, 2.96 +/- 0.26 vs. C, 4.0 +/- 0.46 nmol x mgprot(-1) x s(-1), P < 0.05), however combined diabetes and hypertension (HD) did not affect the Vmax of NCX activity (HD, 3.84 +/- 0.88 vs. H, 3.59 +/- 0.24 nmol x mgprot(-1) x s(-1), P > 0.05). However, analysis of the Km values for Ca2+ indicated that both the D and HD groups exhibited a significantly lower Km when compared with their respective control groups (D, 42 +/- 4 vs. C, 56 +/- 4 microM, P < 0.05; HD, 33 +/- 7 vs. H, 51 +/- 8 microM, P < 0.05). Immunoblotting using polyclonal antibodies (against canine cardiac NCX) exhibited the typical banding of 160, 120, and 70 kDa. The 120 kDa band is believed to represent the native exchanger with its post-translational modifications. Examination of the blots revealed a lower intensity of the 120 kDa band in the D group when compared with the C group, however, no significant difference in the HD group was observed. We speculate that the lower Vmax in the D group may be due to a reduced concentration of exchanger protein in the membrane. The absence of this defect in the HD group may be a result of compensatory mechanisms to the overall hemodynamic overload, however, this remains to be determined. The increased affinity for Ca2+ in both the D and HD groups (determined by the lower Km values) is an interesting finding and may be due to changes in sarcolemmal lipid bilayer composition secondary to diabetes-induced hyperlipidemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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