Enhanced myocardial depression in diabetic rats during E. coli sepsis

K. H. McDonough, R. W. Barbee, C. Dobrescu, C. H. Lang, J. J. Spitzer

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The aim of this study was to determine whether diabetes enhanced the sensitivity of the myocardium to the deleterious effects of in vivo-administered Escherichia coli. Diabetes was induced in two groups of animals. One group received 70 mg/kg streptozotocin (iv) and exhibited a severe diabetes with elevated fasting and fed blood glucose concentrations and a markedly abnormal response to an oral glucose load. The second group received 45 mg/kg streptozotocin, was mildly diabetic (termed 'latent' diabetes), and was characterized by normal fasting blood glucose by slightly elevated fed blood glucose and an abnormal response to a glucose load. A third group of rats received vehicle and served as time-matched control animals. Four weeks after induction of diabetes, all animals were catheterized under ether anesthesia and some received intraperitoneal injections of live E. coli. In vitro myocardial performance was assessed using the isolated, perfused working heart preparation. Ventricular function curves were generated by changing left atrial filling pressure and measuring changes in heart rate, cardiac output, and aortic peak systolic pressure. Cardiac performance in the severe diabetic group was depressed at the highest preload but was unchanged at lower preloads. Function in the latent diabetic group was not different from control. Sepsis induced a slight decrease in cardiac performance in the control group and resulted in larger reductions in the latent and severe diabetic groups. A depression in aortic flow was the major consequence of sepsis in the latent diabetic group, whereas decreased coronary flow was the primary change in the severe diabetic group. Thus the presence of a diabetic state enhanced the sensitivity of the heart to the myocardial depressant effect of sepsis. This was true in animals that already exhibited cardiac abnormalities (severe diabetics) as well as in animals in which no myocardial defect was measurable under nonseptic conditions (latent diabetics).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22/2
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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