Impact of diabetes on induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition

Rev Port Cardiol. 2002 Jun;21(6):759-66.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic diseases of our times. Specific cardiovascular alterations are often associated with the progression of this disease. Considerable controversy exists in the literature concerning the greater or lesser susceptibility of the diabetic heart to ischemia and reperfusion. Cardiac mitochondria may be fundamental to the differential susceptibility of the cardiomyocyte to pathologic phenomena, particularly those due to the induction of the degenerative process known as the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), which is triggered by excessive mitochondrial calcium accumulation. The MPT has been associated with cellular dysfunction resulting from ischemia and reperfusion. The objective of this work was to examine the susceptibility of mitochondria isolated from diabetic rats to the MPT, in comparison to healthy control rats of the same age. Cardiac mitochondria from the diabetic rats had higher calcium loading capacity before the development of the MPT, with a decreased incidence of MPTP-associated features. This was associated with a greater capacity to sustain multiple pulses of externally added calcium, simultaneously with maintenance of the transmembrane electrical potential and reduced swelling amplitude. This could mean that cardiomyocytes from diabetic hearts may indeed be less prone to dysfunctions resulting from ischemia and reperfusion, at least in milder diabetic conditions, thus explaining many reports in the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / etiology
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Swelling / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Calcium