The journal of physiological sciences : JPS

Mitochondrial K+ channels are involved in ischemic postconditioning in rat hearts.

PMID 22528048


The mitochondrial calcium-activated potassium channel (mitoK(Ca)) and the mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel (mitoK(ATP)) are both involved in cardiac preconditioning. Here, we examined whether these two channels are also involved in ischemic or pharmacological postconditioning. Using Langendorff perfusion, rat hearts were made hypoxic for 45 min and then reoxygenated for 30 min. Ischemic postconditioning (IPT) was achieved through application of 3 cycles of 10 s of reperfusion and 10 s of ischemia before reoxygenation, with and without paxilline (Pax; a mitoK(Ca) blocker) or 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD; a mitoK(ATP) blocker). Pharmacological postconditioning was carried out for 5 min at the onset of reoxygenation using NS1619 (a mitoK(Ca) opener) or diazoxide (Dia; a mitoK(ATP) opener). Pax and 5-HD abolished IPT-induced cardioprotection from reoxygenation injury, whereas administration of NS1619 or Dia significantly improved cardiac contractile activity and reduced aspartate aminotransferase (an index of myocyte injury) release following reoxygenation. In addition, isolated rat myocytes were loaded with tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRE; fluorescent mitochondrial membrane potential indicator) and 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein [DCFH; fluorescent reactive oxygen species (ROS) indicator] or Fluo-4-acetoxymethyl ester (Fluo-4-AM; fluorescent calcium indicator). When TMRE-loaded myocytes were laser illuminated, the DCFH and Fluo-4 fluorescence increased, and TMRE fluorescence decreased. These effects were significantly inhibited by NS1619 and Dia. We therefore conclude that IPT may protect the heart through activation of mitoK(ATP) and mitoK(Ca) channels, and that opening of these channels at the onset of reoxygenation protects the heart from reoxygenation injury, most likely by reducing excess generation of ROS and the resultant Ca(2+) overload.