Myocardial infarct size-limiting effect of ischemic preconditioning was not attenuated by oxygen free-radical scavengers in the rabbit.
BACKGROUND The limiting effect of ischemic preconditioning on infarct size has been reported in canine hearts, which contain considerable amounts of xanthine oxidase, a free radical-producing enzyme. Furthermore, a recent study suggested that free radicals generated during preconditioning may contribute to the cardioprotective effect of preconditioning. The present study examined 1) whether preconditioning limits infarct size in rabbits, which, like humans, lack myocardial xanthine oxidase and 2) whether the cardioprotective effect of PC is mediated by free radicals.
METHODS AND RESULTS A branch of the circumflex coronary artery in rabbits was occluded for 30 minutes and then reperfused for 72 hours. Myocardial infarct size and area at risk were determined by histology and fluorescent particles, respectively. Five groups were studied: an untreated control group, a preconditioned group (PC group), a high-dose superoxide dismutase (SOD)-treated preconditioned group (high-dose SOD-PC group), a low-dose SOD-treated preconditioned group (low-dose SOD-PC group), and a SOD-plus-catalase-treated preconditioned group (SOD/CAT-PC group). Preconditioning was performed with four episodes of 5 minutes of ischemia and 5 minutes of reperfusion. The free radical scavengers (30,000 units/kg SOD for high-dose SOD-PC group, 15,000 units/kg SOD for low-dose SOD-PC group, and 30,000 units/kg SOD plus 55,000 units/kg catalase for SOD/CAT-PC group) were infused intravenously over 60 minutes starting 20 minutes before preconditioning. Infarct size as the percentage of area at risk was 45.1 +/- 3.5% (mean +/- SEM) in the control group (n = 11), 13.3 +/- 3.0% in the PC group (n = 12), 9.7 +/- 1.8% in the high-dose SOD-PC group (n = 8), 11.9 +/- 2.2% in the low-dose SOD-PC group (n = 6), and 9.6 +/- 2.3% in the SOD/CAT-PC group (n = 6) (p less than 0.05 versus control for the last four values). The differences in infarct size as the percent of area at risk among the PC, high-dose SOD-PC, low-dose SOD-PC, and SOD/CAT-PC groups were not significant.
CONCLUSION Ischemic preconditioning delays ischemic myocardial necrosis regardless of myocardial xanthine oxidase content. Free radicals are unlikely to have a major role in the mechanism of the preconditioning in rabbits.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association