Diabetic cardiomyopathy and carnitine deficiency.
This study was designed to study the pathogenesis of cardiomyopathy in animals with longstanding (6 months) diabetes mellitus. Male Wistar rats were made diabetic by the injection of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg) intraperitoneal at 6 months of age. Myocardial contractility was evaluated at 1 year of age by an echocardiogram. Blood was collected at that time to measure blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c as an indicator of metabolic control. Serum carnitine was also measured on the same sample to evaluate the availability of this substance so essential for fatty acid metabolism in the myocardium. Myocardial anatomy was evaluated by both light and electron microscopy after the animals had diabetes for 6 months. It was found that the left ventricular volume was greater at the end of systole and diastole. There was the suggestion of left ventricular fractional shortening and calculated reduced ejection fraction indicating decreased contractility consistent with cardiomyopathy. The hearts had no evidence of coronary vascular occlusion, and the serum cholesterol was normal. Myocardial ultrastructure revealed abnormal-appearing mitochondria consistent with carnitine deficiency. Serum and myocardial carnitine levels in the animals with diabetes and reduced myocardial function were low. Carnitine levels and metabolism could be important in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Malone, JI; Schocken, DD; Morrison, AD; Gilbert-Barness, E
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