Journal of physiology and biochemistry

Understanding pacing postconditioning-mediated cardiac protection: a role of oxidative stress and a synergistic effect of adenosine.

PMID 27864790


We and others have demonstrated a protective role for pacing postconditioning (PPC) against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in the heart; however, the underlying mechanisms behind these protective effects are not completely understood. In this study, we wanted to further characterize PPC-mediated cardiac protection, specifically identify optimal pacing sites; examine the role of oxidative stress; and test the existence of a potential synergistic effect between PPC and adenosine. Isolated rat hearts were subjected to coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion. PPC involved three, 30 s, episodes of alternating left ventricular (LV) and right atrial (RA) pacing. Multiple pacing protocols with different pacing electrode locations were used. To test the involvement of oxidative stress, target-specific agonists or antagonists were infused at the beginning of reperfusion. Hemodynamic data were digitally recorded, and cardiac enzymes, oxidant, and antioxidant status were chemically measured. Pacing at the LV or RV but not at the heart apex or base significantly (P < 0.001) protected against ischemia-reperfusion injury. PPC-mediated protection was completely abrogated in the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, ebselen; peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) scavenger, uric acid; and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-NAME. Nitric oxide (NO) donor, snap, however significantly (P < 0.05) protected the heart against I/R injury in the absence of PPC. The protective effects of PPC were significantly improved by adenosine. PPC-stimulated protection can be achieved by alternating LV and RA pacing applied at the beginning of reperfusion. NO, ROS, and the product of their interaction ONOO(-) play a significant role in PPC-induced cardiac protection. Finally, the protective effects of PPC can be synergized with adenosine.