CELL CALCIUM, vol.16, no.2, pp.81-86, 1994 (SCI-Expanded)
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease associated with certain complications which have also been demonstrated in the experimental models of this disease. Altered responses to several agonists have been reported in various smooth muscles from alloxan or streptozotocin diabetic animals. Since these reports revealed a defect in the contractile process of smooth muscles from experimentally-induced diabetes, short and long term effects of diabetes on calmodulin levels in the smooth muscles of aorta, trachea, vas deferens and duodenum were investigated using streptozotocin diabetic rats. In spite of the fact that most of the reports have demonstrated the defective contractions in long term diabetic rats, short term effect (for 1 week) of diabetes on calmodulin levels in the smooth muscles of aorta, trachea, vas deferens and duodenum was also investigated in the present study using streptozotocin diabetic rats to understand whether the changes in calmodulin dependent contractile process begin at an earlier stage of the disease. Tissue calmodulin levels of the smooth muscles were measured by the radioimmunoassay technique using a [I-125]-labeled kit. Although rats injected with streptozotocin exerted the characteristics of diabetes such as polyuria, polydipsy, polyphagy and elevated blood glucose levels, unchanged calmodulin levels were found in the rats with short term streptozotocin diabetes. In contrast, long term streptozotocin diabetes (for 8 weeks) was found to cause a significant decrease in tissue calmodulin levels of these four smooth muscles. Taking into consideration the findings obtained, there is a high likelihood that the changes in the calmodulin level of smooth muscles may contribute to the defective contractile responses in diabetes as observed in the previous studies and occur as a long term complication of experimental diabetes.