Voltage-sensitve Ca2+ channels in cardiac left ventricular muscle membranes isolated from nondiabetic control and diabetic rats were measured with [3H]PN 200–110, a dihydropyridine derivative, as a ligand. The binding site (Bmax) of [3H]PN 200–110 in cardiac membranes isolated from streptozocin-induced diabetic (STZ-D) rats (128 ± 10 fmol/mg protein) significantly (P < 0.01) increased by 64% compared with that of control rats (78 ± 4 fmol/mg protein) 10 wk after STZ administration without a significant change in Kd. However, the significant increase in Bmax of [3H]PN 200-110 binding in diabetic rats depended on the duration of diabetes such that the increase was not found until 6 wk after STZ injection. An 8-wk intensive insulin treatment, which was initiated 2 wk after STZ injection, normalized the increase in [3H]PN 200–110 binding in STZ-D rats to control levels (85 ± 4 fmol/mg protein). Furthermore, [3H]PN 200–110 binding to control cardiac membranes was dose-dependently inhibited in the presence of verapamil, a phenylalkylamine Ca2+ antagonist, but that was not the case in cardiac membranes isolated from STZ-D rats. These results indicate that voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels in cardiac muscle isolated from STZ-D rats are quantitatively and qualitatively altered, because the course of diabetes and the increase in the channels can be prevented by treatment with insulin.

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