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J Clin Invest. 1990 Aug;86(2):481-8.

Abnormal cardiac function in the streptozotocin-diabetic rat. Changes in active and passive properties of the left ventricle.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Tucson, Arizona 85723.


To provide an integrated assessment of changes in systolic and diastolic function in diabetic rats, we measured conscious hemodynamics and performed ex vivo analysis of left ventricular passive-elastic properties. Rats given streptozotocin (STZ) 65 mg/kg i.v. (n = 14) were compared with untreated age-matched controls (n = 15) and rats treated with insulin after administration of STZ (n = 11). After 7 d, diabetic rats exhibited decreases in heart rate and peak developed left ventricular (LV) pressure during aortic occlusion. After 26 d of diabetes there were significant decreases in resting LV systolic pressure, developed pressure, and maximal +dP/dt, whereas LV end-diastolic pressure increased and the time constant of LV relaxation was prolonged. The passive LV pressure-volume relationship was progressively shifted away from the pressure axis, and the overall chamber stiffness constant was decreased. However, "operating chamber stiffness" calculated at end-diastolic pressure was increased at 7 d, and unchanged at 26 d. LV cavity/wall volume and end-diastolic volume were increased after 26 d of diabetes. Myocardial stiffness was unchanged at both time intervals. All of the above abnormalities were reversed by the administration of insulin. We conclude that the hemodynamic and passive-elastic changes that occur in diabetic rats represent an early dilated cardiomyopathy which is reversible with insulin.

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