Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of preconditioning on injury and expression of heat shock proteins 70 in diabetic rat hearts.
Methods: Diabetes was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of 65 mg kg(-1) streptozotocin. Daily subcutaneous injection of 4 IU insulin started 2 weeks after streptozotocin treatment for 4 weeks. Rats were preconditioned by intravenous injection of 10 mg kg(-1) U50,488H, a selective kappa-opioid receptor agonist (U50,488H preconditioning). The effects of U50,488H preconditioning had previously been shown to be blocked by a selective kappa-opioid receptor antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine. Twenty-four hours later, rats were subjected to 30 min of regional ischaemia by occlusion of the left coronary artery followed by 4 h of reperfusion. Infarct size was determined at the end of reperfusion. Stress-inducible and constitutive heat shock proteins 70 were analysed at the end of ischaemia and reperfusion by Western blotting.
Results: Myocardial infarcts induced by ischaemia and reperfusion were greater in diabetic rats. U50,488H preconditioning significantly reduced the infarct size and increased the expression of stress-inducible heat-shock protein 70 in normal rats. The effects of U50,488H preconditioning were abolished in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, but restored by insulin replacement.
Conclusion/interpretation: In addition to a greater susceptibility to ischaemic insults, the delayed cardioprotection of U50,488H preconditioning was lost, which could at least partly be due to impaired synthesis of stress-inducible heat-shock protein 70 in diabetic rats.