In the present study, effects of streptozotocin-induced diabetes and insulin treatment on the reactivity of rat vas deferens to KCl and calmidazolium, a calmodulin antagonist, were evaluated and calmodulin levels in vas deferens tissue from diabetic and insulin-treated rats were determined. Diabetes was induced in rats by a single injection of streptozotocin. Five weeks after the induction of diabetes, one group of diabetic rats was injected with insulin for 3 weeks. After 8 weeks, vas deferens tissues on one side of diabetic and insulin-treated diabetic rats and their controls were mounted in organ bath to measure isometric tension, while the tissues on the other side of rats were homogenized to determine calmodulin levels by radioimmunoassay. Concentration-response curves to KCl were obtained in vas deferens tissues in the absence and presence of calmidazolium. The effects of KCl and calmidazolium on vas deferens isolated from 8-weeks diabetic rats were decreased. Calmodulin levels were also found to be decreased in vas deferens from diabetic rats. Decreased calmodulin levels in diabetic rat vas deferens were not corrected by insulin treatment. Only a partial correction following insulin treatment was observed in contractile effect of KCl on diabetic rat vas deferens, whereas insulin treatment increases the affinity of calmodulin in this muscle. Experimental diabetes causes an impairment in calcium/calmodulin-dependent contractile process of vas deferens, which is correctable partially following insulin therapy. The changes in the function of rat vas deferens due to streptozotocin diabetes seem to be related to impaired sexual functions in human diabetes. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.