Altered gene expression may underlie prolonged duration of the QT interval and ventricular action potential in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat heart


Ventricular electrical conduction has been investigated in the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat. Diabetes was induced with a single injection of STZ (60 mg/kg bodyweight, ip). The ECG was measured continuously, in vivo, using a biotelemetry system. Left ventricular action potentials were recorded with an extracellular suction electrode. Expression of mRNA transcripts for selected ion transport proteins was measured in left ventricle with real-time RT-PCR. At 10 weeks after STZ treatment, in vivo heart rate (HR) was reduced (267 ± 3 vs. 329 ± 5 BPM), QRS complex duration and QT interval were prolonged in diabetic rats compared to controls. In vitro spontaneous HR was reduced and paced heart action potential repolarization was prolonged in diabetic rats compared to controls. The mRNA expression for Kcnd2 (Ito channel) and Kcne2 (Ikr channel) was significantly reduced in diabetic rats compared to controls. Altered gene expression and, in particular, genes that encode K+ channel proteins may underlie delayed propagation of electrical activity in the ventricular myocardium of STZ-induced diabetic rat. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009.

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