Background. Prior studies from our laboratory have suggested an important role for the coronary endothelium in the injury resulting from hypothermic ischemia and reperfusion. A decreased endothelial response to intraarterial acetylcholine occurs after ischemia/reperfusion, implying a reduced release of the vasodilator nitric oxide by endothelial cells, but the role of endothelial-derived vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 in ischemia/reperfusion and interactions between endothelin-1 and nitric oxide in ischemia/reperfusion are still unclear. Methods. We examined the effects of endothelin-1 and L-arginine, the precursor for nitric oxide, on functional recovery of isolated, blood-perfused neonatal lamb hearts undergoing 2 hours of ischemia at 10°C. One group (n = 8) received 10 pmol/L endothelin-1 before reperfusion, and a second group (n = 8) received a continuous infusion of 3 mmol/L L-arginine during the initial 20 minutes of reperfusion. The third group (n = 8) received both endothelin-1 and L-arginine in the same way as in the endothelin-1 and L-arginine groups. The fourth group underwent the same period of hypothermic ischemia without interventions during reperfusion. Results. After 30 minutes of reperfusion, the endothelin-1-treated hearts showed significantly reduced recovery of left ventricular systolic function (positive maximum dP/dt and volume normalized [V10] dP/dt) and diastolic function (negative maximum dP/dt), coronary blood flow, and myocardial oxygen consumption compared with the control group (p < 0.05). These effects of endothelin-1 were offset to equal the values observed in controls having unmodified reperfusion by adding L-arginine. The L-arginine group had significantly greater recovery of left ventricular systolic function (positive maximum dP/dt, maximum developed pressure, dP/dt at V10, and developed pressure at V10) and diastolic function (negative maximum dP/dt), coronary blood flow, and myocardial oxygen consumption compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion. These results, combined with our previous observations that endothelin-1 levels are unchanged by hypothermic ischemia and reperfusion, suggest that there is an imbalance between the endothelial production of endothelin-1 and nitric oxide, which affects postischemic coronary blood flow and the recovery of ventricular function. Interventions that modify this imbalance of endothelially derived substances could favorably influence the outcome after a period of hypothermic ischemia and reperfusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine