Kallikrein Gene Delivery Improves Serum Glucose and Lipid Profiles and Cardiac Function in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

  1. David Montanari,
  2. Hang Yin,
  3. Eric Dobrzynski,
  4. Jun Agata,
  5. Hideaki Yoshida,
  6. Julie Chao and
  7. Lee Chao
  1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lee Chao, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425-2211. E-mail: chaol{at}


We investigated the role of the kallikrein-kinin system in cardiac function and glucose utilization in the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model using a gene transfer approach. Adenovirus harboring the human tissue kallikrein gene was administered to rats by intravenous injection at 1 week after STZ treatment. Human kallikrein transgene expression was detected in the serum and urine of STZ-induced diabetic rats after gene transfer. Kallikrein gene delivery significantly reduced blood glucose levels and cardiac glycogen accumulation in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Kallikrein gene transfer also significantly attenuated elevated plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels, food and water intake, and loss of body weight gain, epididymal fat pad, and gastrocnemius muscle weight in STZ-induced diabetic rats. However, these effects were blocked by icatibant, a kinin B2 receptor antagonist. Cardiac function was significantly improved after kallikrein gene transfer as evidenced by increased cardiac output and ±ΔPt (maximum speed of contraction/relaxation), along with elevated cardiac sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum (Ca2+ + Mg2+)-ATPase (SERCA)-2a, phosphorylated phospholamban, NOx and cAMP levels, and GLUT4 translocation into plasma membranes of cardiac and skeletal muscle. Kallikrein gene delivery also increased Akt and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β phosphorylation, resulting in decreased GSK-3β activity in the heart. These results indicate that kallikrein through kinin formation protects against diabetic cardiomyopathy by improving cardiac function and promoting glucose utilization and lipid metabolism.


    • Accepted February 2, 2005.
    • Received August 27, 2004.
| Table of Contents