Modulation of the NO pathway during short or prolonged blood reperfusion following ischaemia in a heterotopic rat heart transplantation model.
Desrois M., Durrans A., Caus T., Lan C., Clarke K., Cozzone PJ., Bernard M.
Ischemia-reperfusion injury plays a major role in graft dysfunction following transplantation. Extensive research has demonstrated that nitric oxide (NO) plays a fundamental role to protect the heart against this injury. Consequently, we quantified NO synthase (NOS) isoform protein levels in a rat heart transplant model during short and prolonged reperfusion following ischemia. Experiments were performed using a modified Lewis to Lewis heterotopic abdominal heart transplantation with a total ischemic time of 3 hours followed by 1 or 24 hours of blood reperfusion (n = 12). Heart function, as represented by the rate pressure product, increased from 7912 +/- 489 to 27067 +/- 9982 mm Hg/min (mean +/- SEM, short vs prolonged reperfusion, P = .0027). NOS isoform protein levels determined using Western blotting of freeze-clamped hearts were compared to baseline values. eNOS protein levels were significantly lower during short reperfusion compared to the basal value (P = .0077) or to prolonged reperfusion (P = .004), returning to the basal value after 24 hours of reflow. iNOS protein was not detected in the basal condition or after 1 hour of reflow, but was present after 24 hours of reflow (P = .0001 vs basal value and 1-hour reflow). nNOS protein was 69% lower after 1 hour of reflow compared with the baseline value (P = .0001), it was not restored after 24 hours of reflow (P = .002). These results suggest involvement of the NO pathway in ischemia-reperfusion injury with distinctive roles of NOS isoforms during short and prolonged reperfusion following ischemia.