Characterisation of ventricular myocyte shortening after administration of streptozotocin (STZ) to neonatal rats

F. C. Howarth, M. A. Qureshi

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Human and animal studies have shown that diabetes mellitus can be associated with altered cardiac function that is independent of vascular complications. Streptozotocin (STZ) is a diabetogenic agent and when administered to rats causes selective β-cell necrosis which is accompanied by a drastic reduction in plasma insulin and hyperglycaemia. We have investigated the characteristics of shortening in ventricular myocytes isolated from rat heart at 10 months after administration of STZ to neonatal rats at 2 days of age. The characteristics of shortening in myocytes from the STZ-treated neonatal rat compared to shortening in myocytes from the STZ-treated young adult rat are discussed. STZ-treated rats gained significantly less weight compared to age-matched controls. Although non-fasting blood glucose was not significantly different in STZ-treated rats they were found to be markedly glucose intolerant when given an intraperitoneal challenge of glucose (2g/kg) after an overnight fast. During electrical stimulation (1 or 2 Hz) ventricular myocyte resting length, time to peak shortening, time to half relaxation and amplitude of shortening were not altered after STZ treatment. The imposition of rest periods (2-60 s) after trains of electrically stimulated (1 Hz) steadystate contractions resulted in a potentiation of the contraction, which immediately followed the rest period (post rest potentiation). Post rest potentiation was larger, following rest periods between 20 and 60 s, in myocytes from STZ-treated rats compared to controls. The absence of major alterations to the amplitude and kinetics of contraction in myocytes from STZ-treated neonatal rats at 10 months after treatment might be explained by a partial recovery of the β-cells in the growing animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number3 SPEC ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


  • Diabetes
  • Neonatal
  • Shortening
  • Streptozotocin
  • Ventricular myocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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