Experiments on rhesus monkeys confirm the association of fetal cardiomegaly with maternal hyperglycemia . However, little information is available regarding the early postnatal development of cardiac contractile function of sucklings from diabetic mothers. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to compare weight parameters, cardiac contractile function and inotropic response to Ca2+ in the offspring of diabetic versus those of control rats during the first week of postnatal life. Results suggest that the sucklings of diabetic mothers suffer from severe growth retardation, decreased magnitude of cardiac contraction and increased cardiac inotropic response to Ca2+ during the first week of life. ANIMALS AND METHODS Animal model: Pregnant Wistar rats weighing 218±16 g were maintained on standard laboratory chow consisting of 60% carbohydrates, 15% fat, 25% proteins, vitamins, mineral salts and water ad libitum. In the experimental group, diabetes was induced on day 8 of gestationby intraperitoneal injection of 230 mol/kg streptozotocin dissolved in citrate buffer, pH 6.5. The control group was injected with buffer only. The experiments were performed in 26 neonatal rats from metab-olically healthy and 21 rats from diabetic mothers on days 1,4 and 7 of postnatal life. All the investigations conformed with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH publication No 85-23, revised 1985). Best quality drugs cheap: find and discover best deals online.