Streptozotocin diabetic rats are hypertensive despite reduced hypothalamic responsiveness.
To determine whether diabetes predisposes rats to hypertension, tail-cuff systolic pressures were measured in male rats made diabetic by pretreatment with streptozotocin. From Weeks 2 through 7, diabetic rats weighed less but had higher systolic pressures than nondiabetic ones. Further comparisons made while the rats were anesthetized with urethane showed that pressor and sympathetic nerve responses to ventromedial hypothalamic stimulation, as well as pressor responses to injected vasopressin, were significantly reduced in the diabetic group. A generalized reduction of cardiovascular reactivity was considered unlikely because systemic pressor responses to norepinephrine and tyramine were unimpaired. Yet reflex bradycardia elicited by norepinephrine was enhanced indicating that baroreceptor resetting had not occurred. Thus, diabetic rats were characterized by hypertension, narrowed pulse pressure, bradycardia with increased reflex responses to norepinephrine, and reduced pressor responses to hypothalamic stimulation and to vasopressin. The successful induction of diabetes was confirmed not only by the presence of hyperglycemia, hypoinsulinemia, glycosuria, and abnormal glucose tolerance, but also by reductions in pancreatic weight, insulin, and beta-cell content. Although our results suggest that diabetic rats are predisposed to become hypertensive, other mechanisms such as hypothalamic depression may be activated to restrict further elevations in blood pressure.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association