Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetologia. 1995 Oct;38(10):1157-68.

Endothelial relaxation is disturbed by oxidative stress in the diabetic rat heart: influence of tocopherol as antioxidant.

Author information

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Diabetes Research Institute, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Increased oxidative stress has been suggested to contribute to disturbances in the regulation of coronary flow and the increased cardiac risk in diabetes mellitus. Using the isolated perfused heart of streptozotocin-diabetic rats our study shows that basal and maximal coronary flow (tested by infusion of sodium nitroprusside) are not altered in diabetes, but that 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) stimulated endothelium-dependent increase in coronary flow becomes progressively impaired. This defect of the endothelium-dependent vasodilatation was prevented by perfusion of the hearts with superoxide dismutase and pretreatment of the diabetic rats with tocopherol-acetate. Morphological studies also revealed that pretreatment with tocopherol-acetate was cardioprotective, and largely prevented severe alterations of myocardial structure typically observed after a diabetes duration of 3 months; deterioration and fragmentation of myofilament bundles were seen less, and the numbers of areas of focal necrosis and of contraction bands were clearly reduced. In contrast to untreated diabetic hearts the autonomic nerve fibers detected by catecholamine fluorescence were running in parallel in hearts of tocopherol-treated diabetic rats, and the amount of catecholamines was not different from that of healthy control rats. Trichrome staining and immunohistochemical staining of collagen I and III showed a dramatic increase in number and the size of deposits of collagen fibers at precapillary locations in the diabetic hearts which were significantly reduced by anti-oxidative treatment. These findings demonstrate that oxidative stress may not only play a major role in the impairment of endothelium-dependent regulation of coronary flow, but also in the development of perivascular fibrosis and severe changes of the autonomic nerves and contractile system in myocardium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center