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Alpha₁-adrenoceptor-mediated phosphoinositide breakdown and inotropic responses in right ventricles of streptozotocin-diabetic rats Xiang, Hong


The morbidity of and the mortality from cardiac disease are higher in diabetic patients. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that diabetes-induced changes at the level of myocardium can, at least partially, contribute to these cardiac problems. The mechanism(s) involved in this diabetic cardiomyopathy is still unclear, but one defect appears to occur in the alpha₁-adrenoceptor system. Altered myocardial sensitivity and responsiveness to alpha₁-adrenoceptor agonists have been reported in experimental diabetes mellitus. Stimulation of alpha₁-adrenoceptors is known to produce a positive inotropic effect and has been recently shown to stimulate the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides. To evaluate the possibility that the changes in the inotropic responsiveness to alpha₁-adrenoceptor stimulation in the diabetic heart could be linked to altered alpha₁-adrenoceptor-stimulated phosphoinositide turnover and further to the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy, we studied contractility and receptor-stimulated phosphoinositide turnover following norepinephrine (in the presence of propranolol) stimulation in right ventricles from male Wistar rats (200-225 g) which were made diabetic with streptozotocin (55 mg/kg, i.v.). Rats were sacrificed six weeks after the induction of diabetes. Diabetic rats were characterized by decreased body weight gain, hypoinsulinemia, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Stimulation of alpha₁-adrenoceptors by norepinephrine (in the presence of propranolol) in right ventricles resulted in the formation of inositol monophosphate (measured with a radioisotope method) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (measured with an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate protein binding assay kit) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in both control and diabetic rats. The increase in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate levels preceded the increase in the alpha₁-adrenoceptor-mediated positive inotropic effect. Diabetic hearts showed a greater maximum inotropic response to norepinephrine stimulation and also had a higher inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate levels. However, with the radioisotope method, a decreased inositol monophosphate formation was shown in diabetic hearts compared with controls. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation (Promega[symbol omitted], 0.5 ml/kg/day) had no significant effect on the changes in norepinephrine-stimulated inositol monophosphate formation in diabetic hearts. In the presence of the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin or the thromboxane synthetase inhibitor imidazole, the norepinephrine-stimulated positive inotropic effect and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate formation were significantly increased in control hearts, but were unaltered in the hearts from diabetics. The addition of the prostacyclin synthetase inhibitor tranylcypromine reduced the norepinephrine-stimulated positive inotropic effect and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate formation only in diabetic hearts and had no effect in the controls. While inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate may be able to mediate only transient inotropic effects produced by alpha₁-adrenoceptor stimulation, diacylglycerol may provoke a sustained positive inotropic effect by activating slow Ca²⁺ channels through stimulation of protein kinase C. Our results showed that the diabetic hearts had a higher protein kinase C activity in the membrane fraction compared with controls and this was accompanied by a decrease in cytosolic protein kinase C activity. The present study suggests that the increases in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate levels and the membrane fraction protein kinase C activity may be implicated in the increased inotropic responsiveness to alpha₁-adrenoceptor stimulation in the hearts of the streptozotocin-diabetic rats. The increases in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate level and protein kinase C activity could induce Ca²⁺ overload in the diabetic heart which might be involved in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. The results from the omega-3 fatty acid study indicate that the changes in cardiac alpha₁-adrenoceptor-mediated inositol phosphates formation cannot contribute to the previously described improved cardiac function of omega-3 fatty acid-treated streptozotocin-diabetic rats. The nature and physiological significance of the enhanced positive inotropic effect and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate formation in the control heart with the addition of indomethacin and imidazole is still unclear. The effect of tranylcypromine may indicate the participation of prostaglandins in mediating the enhanced alpha₁-inotropic effect of norepinephrine in the diabetic heart.

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