WEGNER, J. A., D. D. LUND, J. M. OVERTON, J. G. EDWARDS, R. P. ODA, and C. M. TIPTON. Select cardiovascular and metabolic responses of diabetic rats to moderate exercise training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 497–503, 1987. The combined influence of diabetes and moderate treadmill exercise training on select metabolic and cardiovascular parameters was investigated with mature male Sprague-Dawley rats assigned to either control diabetic or diabetic groups receiving exogenous insulin. Experimental diabetes was induced with streptozotocin (80 mg · kg-1, i.v.) and verified by blood glucose concentrations greater than 16 mmol. The animals were designated as control, insulin-injected (5 U · kg-1, twice daily), or saline-injected (twice daily), and assigned to either non-trained or trained sub-groups. Insulin treatment partially restored the measured physiological functions to within normal limits. All animals were trained at 60 to 70% maximal oxygen consumption for 9 wk and exhibited higher maximal oxygen consumption values and cytochrome oxidase activity of the soleus muscles. Diabetes caused lower (P < 0.05) reductions in resting heart rate but training-induced bradycardia did not occur in any group. Heart rate response to atropine sulfate (1 mg · kg-1, atrial choline acetyltransferase activity, atrial acetylcholine concentration, and quinuclidinyl benzilate binding was measured to evaluate changes in the parasympathetic nervous system. Atropine-induced cardiac acceleration was most pronounced in control and least effective in diabetic animals. Endurance training had no meaningful influence on this response to cholinergic inhibition. Quinuclidinyl benzilate binding for the diabetic and the diabetic groups receiving insulin revealed no change in receptor number, receptor affinity, or training effects. These findings indicated that 9 wk of exercise training improves the aerobic capability of insulin-deficient rats without changing cardiovascular characteristics associated with the parasympathetic nervous system.
©1987The American College of Sports Medicine