Hypercholesterolemia abrogates late preconditioning via a tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent mechanism in conscious rabbits.

Institute of Molecular Cardiology, University of Louisville, The Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute, Louisville, KY, USA.
Circulation (Impact Factor: 15.2). 11/2005; 112(14):2149-56. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.566190
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the late phase of ischemic preconditioning (PC) is known to confer cardioprotection in healthy animal models, it is unknown whether this phenomenon exists in the presence of hypercholesterolemia. The goal of this study was to determine whether the infarct-sparing effect of late PC is affected by hypercholesterolemia and, if so, whether a tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4)-dependent mechanism is responsible for the loss of late PC.
Conscious rabbits fed a normal diet or a 1% cholesterol diet for 6 weeks were subjected to ischemic PC (six 4-minute coronary occlusion/4-minute reperfusion cycles) and, 24 hours later, underwent a 30-minute occlusion followed by 3 days of reperfusion. A total of 125 rabbits were used. In normocholesterolemic rabbits, ischemic PC reduced infarct size, an effect that was abrogated by administration of the BH4 synthesis inhibitor N-acetylserotonin (15 mg/kg IV) before the 30-minute occlusion. In hypercholesterolemic rabbits, however, ischemic PC failed to reduce infarct size. Myocardial BH4 levels in the ischemic zone increased 24 hours after ischemic PC in normocholesterolemic rabbits but not in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. In addition, in normocholesterolemic rabbits, pretreatment with N-acetylserotonin completely abolished the ischemic PC-induced increase in myocardial BH4 levels.
This study demonstrates that (1) hypercholesterolemia abrogates both the infarct-sparing effect of late PC and the concomitant upregulation of myocardial BH4, and (2) inhibition of myocardial BH4 synthesis in the absence of hypercholesterolemia is sufficient to abolish the infarct-sparing effect of late PC. The results support the concept that hypercholesterolemia abrogates late PC by preventing the upregulation of BH4, an essential cofactor for inducible nitric oxide synthase.

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    ABSTRACT: Although NO donors have been shown to confer late preconditioning (PC) against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in healthy rabbits, it is unknown whether concurrent systemic disorders affect NO donor-induced cardioprotection. Since many patients with coronary artery disease have hypercholesterolemia (HC), we examined the effect of this condition on late PC induced by the NO donor diethylenetriamine/nitric oxide (DETA/ NO). Chronically instrumented rabbits were fed a normal diet (normocholesterolemia, NC) or a diet enriched with 1% cholesterol (HC) for 4 weeks. Plasma cholesterol levels were significantly elevated and the arterial pressure response to the endothelium-dependent vasodilator bradykinin was blunted in cholesterol diet-fed rabbits. Conscious rabbits underwent a 30-minute coronary occlusion followed by 3 days of reperfusion. When NC rabbits were pretreated with DETA/NO (0.1 mg/kg, i. v. x 4, group II, n = 7) 24 hours before the 30-minute occlusion, infarct size was reduced by 52% (29.7 +/- 3.4% versus 62.4 +/- 4.0% of the region at risk in NC controls [group I, n = 5], P < 0.05), indicating that DETA/NO induced a late PC effect against myocardial infarction. In contrast, when HC rabbits were pretreated with the same dose of DETA/NO (group IV, n = 6), infarct size was not significantly reduced (61.0 +/- 5.7% versus 68.1 +/- 4.5% of the region at risk in HC [group III, n = 5], P = NS), suggesting that DETA/NO failed to induce a delayed cardioprotective effect. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that HC blunts NO donor-induced late PC against myocardial infarction, implying that the inhibitory effects of HC on ischemia-induced and NO donor-induced late PC are caused by disruption of biochemical pathways distal to the generation of NO that triggers these adaptations.
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