Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 inhibition blocks remote preconditioning in experimental and human models

Hussain Contractor, Nicolaj B. Støttrup, Colin Cunnington, Cedric Manlhiot, Jonathan Diesch, Julian O.M. Ormerod, Rebekka Jensen, Hans Erik Bøtker, Andrew Redington, Michael R. Schmidt, Houman Ashrafian, Rajesh K. Kharbanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH-2) is involved in preconditioning pathways, but its role in remote ischaemic preconditioning (rIPC) is unknown. We investigated its role in animal and human models of rIPC. (i) In a rabbit model of myocardial infarction, rIPC alone reduced infarct size [69 ± 5.8 % (n = 11) to 40 ± 6.5 % (n = 12), P = 0.019]. However, rIPC protection was lost after pre-treatment with the ALDH-2 inhibitor cyanamide (62 ± 7.6 % controls, n = 10, versus 61 ± 6.9 % rIPC after cyanamide, n = 10, P > 0.05). (ii) In a forearm plethysmography model of endothelial ischaemia-reperfusion injury, 24 individuals of Asian ethnic origin underwent combined rIPC and ischaemia-reperfusion (IR). 11 had wild-type (WT) enzyme and 13 carried the Glu504Lys (ALDH22) polymorphism (rendering ALDH-2 functionally inactive). In WT individuals, rIPC protected against impairment of response to acetylcholine (P = 0.9), but rIPC failed to protect carriers of Glu504Lys polymorphism (P = 0.004). (iii) In a second model of endothelial IR injury, 12 individuals participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study, receiving the ALDH-2 inhibitor disulfiram 600 mg od or placebo for 48 h prior to assessment of flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after combined rIPC and IR. With placebo, rIPC was effective with no difference in FMD before and after IR (6.18 ± 1.03 % and 4.76 ± 0.93 % P = 0.1), but disulfiram inhibited rIPC with a reduction in FMD after IR (7.87 ± 1.27 % and 3.05 ± 0.53 %, P = 0.001). This study demonstrates that ALDH-2 is involved in the rIPC pathway in three distinct rabbit and human models. This has potential implications for future clinical studies of remote conditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number343
JournalBasic Research in Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelium
  • Genes
  • Ischaemia
  • Myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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