The vascular effects of glucose-intolerance were investigated using the neonatal streptozotocin-treated (nSTZ) rat model. Glucose-intolerance was initiated by administration of STZ (90 mg/kg, IP) into 2-day-old male rats. Aortic reactivity was assessed in vitro at 3 and 6 months of age. Both the 3- and 6-month-old nSTZ rats displayed higher blood glucose levels in response to a glucose challenge. At 3 months of age, aortic responsiveness to both norepinephrine and acetylcholine was not altered. However, at 6 months of age, the responses of endothelium-denuded aortas from nSTZ rats to norepinephrine and serotonin were enhanced compared to controls. Endothelium-mediated relaxation of aortas from these animals to acetylcholine was also augmented, and this effect was linked to NO release. Although norepinephrine did not elicit enhancement of aortic contraction in calcium-free medium in 6-month-old nSTZ rats, the responses to both maximum and submaximum concentrations of the agonist after readdition of calcium were greater in these tissues than in control preparations. Pretreatment of aortas with calphostin C eliminated the difference in NE-induced contraction between the control and experimental groups. Although the concentration-response curves for phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate were not different between the 2 groups, the responses of the aortas from 6-month-old nSTZ rats to a submaximum concentration of the phorbol ester were enhanced relative to controls, and this enhancement was normalized with calphostin C. Overall, the data suggest that glucose-intolerance of sufficient duration causes increases in vascular reactivity to agonists. While these findings warrant further investigations, such vascular alterations during the prediabetes stage of glucose intolerance can be a predisposing factor for the eventual development of cardiovascular complications.
- Glucose intolerance
- Neonatal rat
- Vascular responses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine