Background Experiments in isolated perfused heart have shown that heart rate is lower and sinoatrial node (SAN) action potential duration is longer in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat compared to controls. In sino-atrial preparations the pacemaker cycle length and sino-atrial conduction time are prolonged in STZ heart. To further clarify the molecular basis of electrical disturbances in the diabetic heart the profile of mRNA encoding a wide variety of proteins associated with the generation and transmission of electrical activity has been evaluated in the SAN of STZ-induced diabetic rat heart. Methodology/Principal Findings Heart rate was measured in isolated perfused heart with an extracellular suction electrode. Expression of mRNA encoding a variety of intercellular proteins, intracellular Ca2+ -transport and regulatory proteins, cell membrane transport proteins and calcium, sodium and potassium channel proteins were measured in SAN and right atrial (RA) biopsies using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction techniques. Heart rate was lower in STZ (203±7 bpm) compared to control (239±11 bpm) rat. Among many differences in the profile of mRNA there are some worthy of particular emphasis. Expression of genes encoding some proteins were significantly downregulated in STZ-SAN: calcium channel, Cacng4 (7-fold); potassium channel, Kcnd2 whilst genes encoding some other proteins were significantly upregulated in STZ-SAN: gap junction, Gjc1; cell membrane transport, Slc8a1, Trpc1, Trpc6 (4-fold); intracellular Ca2+ -transport, Ryr3; calcium channel Cacna1g, Cacna1h, Cacnb3; potassium channels, Kcnj5, Kcnk3 and natriuretic peptides, Nppa (5-fold) and Nppb (7-fold). Conclusions/Significance Collectively, this study has demonstrated differences in the profile of mRNA encoding a variety of proteins that are associated with the generation, conduction and regulation of electrical signals in the SAN of STZ-induced diabetic rat heart. Data from this study will provide a basis for a substantial range of future studies to investigate whether these changes in mRNA translate into changes in electrophysiological function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)