Inhibition of Rho-kinase protects the heart against ischemia/reperfusion injury.

To investigate the role of Rho A and Rho-kinase in acute myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and the protective effect of Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y-27632 [(R)-(+)-trans-N-(4-pyridyl)-4-(1-aminoethyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide].
Male CD1 mice were subjected to 30 min of coronary occlusion and 24 h reperfusion. Ischemia/reperfusion upregulated expression of Rho A in ischemic myocardium, and subsequently activated Rho-kinase. Y-27632 significantly inhibited the activation of Rho-kinase following ischemia/reperfusion. Treatment with Y-27632 at 10 and 30 mg/kg oral administration, reduced infarct size by 30.2% and 41.1%, respectively (P<0.01 vs. vehicle). Y-27632 also enhanced post-ischemia cardiac function. Left ventricular systolic pressure, +dP/dt and -dP/dt were significantly improved by 23.5%, 52.3%, and 59.4%, respectively (P<0.01 vs. vehicle). Moreover, Y-27632 reduced ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial apoptosis. The apoptotic myocytes in ischemic myocardium after 4 h reperfusion were reduced from 13.1% in vehicle group to 6.4% in Y-27632-treated group (P<0.01). Meanwhile, ischemia/reperfusion-induced downregulation of Bcl-2 in myocardium was remarkably attenuated in the treated animals. Ischemia/reperfusion resulted in remarkable elevation in serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which was significantly suppressed by Y-27632. In addition, Y-27632 decreased ischemia/reperfusion-induced accumulation of neutrophils in the heart by 45% (P<0.01).
These results suggest that Rho-kinase plays a pivotal role in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. The cardiac protection provided by treatment with a selective Rho-kinase inhibitor is likely via anti-apoptotic effect and attenuation of ischemia/reperfusion-induced inflammatory responses. The finding of this study suggest a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of acute myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.
AuthorsWeike Bao, Erding Hu, Ling Tao, Rogely Boyce, Rosanna Mirabile, Douglas T Thudium, Xin-ling Ma, Robert N Willette, Tian-li Yue
JournalCardiovascular research (Cardiovasc Res) Vol. 61 Issue 3 Pg. 548-58 (Feb 15 2004) ISSN: 0008-6363 [Print] Netherlands
PMID14962485 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Amides
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Pyridines
  • Y 27632
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • Amides (therapeutic use)
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Western (methods)
  • Immunohistochemistry (methods)
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Myocardial Contraction (drug effects)
  • Myocardial Ischemia (drug therapy, enzymology, pathology)
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury (pathology, prevention & control)
  • Myocardium (enzymology, pathology)
  • Neutrophils (immunology)
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases (analysis, antagonists & inhibitors)
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 (analysis)
  • Pyridines (therapeutic use)
  • rho-Associated Kinases

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