Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology

Combined metoprolol and ascorbic acid treatment prevents intrinsic damage to the heart during diabetic cardiomyopathy.

PMID 25229873


Metabolic disturbances and oxidative stress have been highlighted as potential causative factors for the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. The β-blocker metoprolol is known to improve function in the diabetic rat heart and ameliorates the sequelae associated with oxidative stress, without lowering oxidative stress. The antioxidant ascorbic acid is known to improve function in the diabetic rat heart. We tested whether a combination of ascorbic acid and metoprolol treatment would improve function further than each drug individually. Control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar rats were treated with metoprolol (15 mg·(kg body mass)(-1)·day(-1), via an osmotic pump) and (or) ascorbic acid (1000 mg·(kg body mass)(-1)·day(-1), via their drinking water). To study the effect of treatment on the development of dysfunction, we examined time points before (5 weeks diabetic) and after (7 weeks diabetic) development of overt systolic dysfunction. Echocardiography and working-heart-perfusion were used to assess cardiac function. Blood and tissue samples were collected to assess the severity of disease and oxidative stress. While both drugs improved function, only ascorbic acid had effects on oxidative damage. Combination treatment had a more pronounced improvement in function. Our β-blocker + antioxidant treatment strategy focused on oxidative stress, not diabetes specifically; therefore, it may prove useful in other diseases where oxidative stress contributes to the pathology.