Abstract 5407: Reperfusion Causes Cytosolic Calcium Overload Due to Rapid Calcium Release from the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum
After a brief ischemic insult, a sustained contractile dysfunction occurs manifested as a sluggish recovery of pump function (myocardial stunning). Substantial evidence supports that myocardial dysfunction is triggered by Ca2+ overload during reperfusion (R). Previous results from different laboratories including our own, describe a cascade of events triggered by R that involves the activation of Na+/H+ and Na+/Ca2+ (NCX) exchangers, with enhanced Ca2+ influx. Whether this Ca2+ influx directly produces the increase in cytosolic Ca2+ or this increase occurs as a consequence of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release triggered in turn by the Ca2+ influx, is not known. To address this issue, we performed 12 min of global no-flow ischemia followed by R in the isovolumic Langendorff perfused mouse heart positioned on a Pulsed Local Field Fluorescence microscope and loaded with fluorescent dyes (Rhod-2 or Mag-Fluo-4 to assess cytosolic or SR Ca2+, respectively). The results indicated an initial increase in diastolic Ca2+ during early R that gradually returned to pre-ischemic levels. This increase was associated with a decrease in SR Ca2+ content that recovered within 10 min, as a mirror image of the diastolic Ca2+ profile. Additional experiments in which caffeine pulses (20 mM) were applied, confirmed that SR Ca2+ content was greatly diminished at the onset of R and gradually recovered within 10 min of R. The present findings indicate that the increase in diastolic Ca2+ that occurs upon R is due to a SR Ca2+ release -which might be at least partially caused by Ca2+ influx through the reverse NCX mode- and not just because of the Ca2+ entry through this exchanger, as has been previously thought.