Background: Diabetic patients have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in developed countries. Although multivitamin products are widely used as dietary supplements, the effects of these products have not been investigated in the diabetic heart yet. Therefore, here we investigated if a preparation of different minerals, vitamins, and trace elements (MVT) affects the cardiac gene expression pattern in experimental diabetes.
Methods: Two-day old male Wistar rats were injected with streptozotocin (i.p. 100 mg/kg) or citrate buffer to induce diabetes. From weeks 4 to 12, rats were fed with a vehicle or a MVT preparation. Fasting blood glucose measurement and oral glucose tolerance test were performed at week 12, and then total RNA was isolated from the myocardium and assayed by rat oligonucleotide microarray for 41012 oligonucleotides.
Results: Significantly elevated fasting blood glucose concentration and impaired glucose tolerance were markedly improved by MVT-treatment in diabetic rats at week 12. Genes with significantly altered expression due to diabetes include functional clusters related to cardiac hypertrophy (e.g. caspase recruitment domain family, member 9; cytochrome P450, family 26, subfamily B, polypeptide; FXYD domain containing ion transport regulator 3), stress response (e.g. metallothionein 1a; metallothionein 2a; interleukin-6 receptor; heme oxygenase (decycling) 1; and glutathione S-transferase, theta 3), and hormones associated with insulin resistance (e.g. resistin; FK506 binding protein 5; galanin/GMAP prepropeptide). Moreover the expression of some other genes with no definite cardiac function was also changed such as e.g. similar to apolipoprotein L2; brain expressed X-linked 1; prostaglandin b2 synthase (brain). MVT-treatment in diabetic rats showed opposite gene expression changes in the cases of 19 genes associated with diabetic cardiomyopathy. In healthy hearts, MVT-treatment resulted in cardiac gene expression changes mostly related to immune response (e.g. complement factor B; complement component 4a; interferon regulatory factor 7; hepcidin).
Conclusions: MVT-treatment improved diagnostic markers of diabetes. This is the first demonstration that MVT-treatment significantly alters cardiac gene expression profile in both control and diabetic rats. Our results and further studies exploring the mechanistic role of individual genes may contribute to the prevention or diagnosis of cardiac complications in diabetes.