Heart rate control in diabetic rabbits: blunted response to isoproterenol

Journal Article

To study the effects of chronic diabetes on heart rate and adrenergic responsiveness we compared unanesthetized diabetic rabbits, 10-13 mo after alloxan monohydrate injection, to age-matched controls. There were no significant differences found between groups for body or heart weight. Both resting and intrinsic heart rate (the latter obtained after atropine sulfate and propanolol HCl) were similar. In addition, serum and left ventricular epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations as well as left ventricular β-receptor density and affinity were unchanged in diabetic animals. Heart rate responses to isoproterenol were blunted in diabetics at the three highest doses. Base-line mean blood pressure was modestly lower in diabetic rabbits, and parallel declines in pressure for both groups were observed in response to isoproterenol. The diminished heart rate response to isoproterenol in diabetic rabbits may be due to diminished myocardial sensitivity to catecholamines, possibly combined with altered baroreceptor reflexes. These experiments may provide an explanation for the blunted heart rate response to exercise described in human diabetics.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zola, BE; Miller, B; Stiles, GL; Rao, PS; Sonnenblick, EH; Fein, FS

Published Date

  • 1988

Published In

  • American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism

Volume / Issue

  • 255 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 18/5 -