Conscious pigs underwent a sequence of 10 2-min coronary occlusions, each separated by 2 min of reperfusion, for three consecutive days (days 1, 2, and 3). On day 1, pigs received an i.v. infusion of a combination of antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and N-2 mercaptopropionyl glycine; group II, n = 9), nisoldipine (group III, n = 6), or vehicle (group I [controls], n = 9). In the control group, systolic wall thickening (WTh) in the ischemic-reperfused region on day 1 remained significantly depressed for 4 h after the 10th reperfusion, indicating myocardial 'stunning.' On days 2 and 3, however, the recovery of WTh improved markedly, so that the total deficit of WTh decreased by 53% on day 2 and 56% on day 3 compared with day 1 (P < 0.01), indicating the development of a powerful cardioprotective response (late preconditioning against stunning). In the anti- oxidant-treated group, the total deficit of WTh on day 1 was 54% less than in the control group (P < 0.01). On day 2, the total deficit of WTh was 85% greater than that observed on day 1 and similar to that observed on day 1 in the control group. On day 3, the total deficit of WTh was 58% less than that noted on day 2 (P < 0.01). In the nisoldipine-treated group, the total deficit of WTh on day 1 was 53% less than that noted in controls (P < 0.01). On days 2 and 3, the total deficit of WTh was similar to the corresponding values in the control group. These results demonstrate that: (a) in the conscious pig, antioxidant therapy completely blocks the development of late preconditioning against stunning, indicating that the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on day 1 is the mechanism whereby ischemia induces the protective response observed on day 2; (b) antioxidant therapy markedly attenuates myocardial stunning on day 1, indicating that ROS play an important pathogenetic role in postischemic dysfunction in the porcine heart despite the lack of xanthine oxidase; (c) although the administration of a calcium-channel antagonist (nisoldipine) is as effective as antioxidant therapy in attenuating myocardial stunning on day 1, it has no effect on late preconditioning on day 2, indicating that the ability of antioxidants to block late preconditioning is not a nonspecific result of the mitigation of postischemic dysfunction on day 1. Generation of ROS during reperfusion is generally viewed as a deleterious process. Our finding that ROS contribute to the genesis of myocardial stunning but, at the same time, trigger the development of late preconditioning against stunning supports a complex pathophysiological paradigm, in which ROS play an immediate injurious role (as mediators of stunning) followed by a useful function (as mediators of subsequent preconditioning).
- N-2-mercaptopropionyl glycine
- oxygen radicals
- superoxide dismutase
ASJC Scopus subject areas