J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:8164518
Indices of cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) in experimental models of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) are often contrary to clinical data. Here, we investigated whether a relatable insulin-treated model of T1DM would induce deficits in cardiovascular (CV) autonomic function more reflective of clinical results and if exercise training could prevent those deficits. Sixty-four rats were divided into four groups: sedentary control (C), sedentary T1DM (D), control exercise (CX), or T1DM exercise (DX). Diabetes was induced via multiple low-dose injections of streptozotocin and blood glucose was maintained at moderate hyperglycemia (9-17 mM) through insulin supplementation. Exercise training consisted of daily treadmill running for 10 weeks. Compared to C, D had blunted baroreflex sensitivity, increased vascular sympathetic tone, increased serum neuropeptide Y (NPY), and decreased intrinsic heart rate. In contrast, DX differed from D in all measures of CAN (except NPY), including heart rate variability. These findings demonstrate that this T1DM model elicits deficits and exercise-mediated improvements to CV autonomic function which are reflective of clinical T1DM.