Acute myocardial infarction in humans is associated with activation of programmed myocyte cell death in the surviving portion of the heart

Giorgio Olivetti, Federico Quaini, Roberto Sala, Costanza Lagrasta, Domenico Corradi, Edgardo Bonacina, Steven R. Gambert, Elena Cigola, Piero Anversa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Conditions of diastolic overload associated with increases in filling pressure trigger apoptosis. Moreover, ischemia alone and ischemia followed by reperfusion induce programmed cell death in myocytes in vitro. On this basis, the possibility was raised that apoptotic myocyte cell death may occur in the surviving myocardium acutely after infarction. Myocardial samples were obtained from the region adjacent to and remote from infarction in patients who died within 10 days from the initial clinical symptoms. Apoptosis was measured quantitatively by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase assay and confirmed biochemically by DNA extraction and agarose gel electrophoresis. This analysis included 20 infarcted and ten control hearts, DNA strand breaks in myocyte nuclei were observed in all 20 infarcted hearts in both the regions bordering on and distant from the necrotic myocardium. However, the number of apoptotic nuclei was greater in the peri-infarcted region than in that away from infarction. Quantitatively, 12% of myocytes in the border zone showed DNA strand breaks, whereas 1% of cells were undergoing apoptosis in the remote myocardium. Moreover, DNA laddering was detected biochemically in these two regions of the heart. Thus, apoptosis appears to be a significant complicating factor of acute myocardial infarction increasing the magnitude of myocyte cell death associated with coronary artery occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2005-2016
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1996

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Border zone
  • DNA laddering
  • DNA strand breaks
  • Human heart
  • Myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Olivetti, G., Quaini, F., Sala, R., Lagrasta, C., Corradi, D., Bonacina, E., Gambert, S. R., Cigola, E., & Anversa, P. (1996). Acute myocardial infarction in humans is associated with activation of programmed myocyte cell death in the surviving portion of the heart. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 28(9), 2005-2016. https://doi.org/10.1006/jmcc.1996.0193