Effect of vanadate on elevated blood glucose and depressed cardiac performance of diabetic rats

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  22 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4693, pp. 1474-1477
DOI: 10.1126/science.3156405


The trace element vanadium has an unclear biological function. Vanadate, an oxidized form of vanadium, appears to have an insulin-like action. The effect of vanadate on blood glucose and cardiac performance was assessed in female Wistar rats 6 weeks after they were made diabetic with streptozotocin. When vanadate was administered for a 4-week period to the diabetic rats, their blood glucose was not significantly different from that of nondiabetic controls despite a low serum insulin. In contrast, blood glucose was increased about threefold in the diabetic rats that were not treated with vanadate; these rats also had low insulin levels. Cardiac performance was depressed in the untreated diabetic animals, but the cardiac performance of the vanadate-treated diabetic animals was not significantly different from that of nondiabetic controls. Thus vanadate controlled the high blood glucose and prevented the decline in cardiac performance due to diabetes.

Related Content