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Anesth Analg. 2006 Aug;103(2):281-8, table of contents.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases trigger isoflurane preconditioning concomitant with upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in rats.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin and Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center, MEB-M4280, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.



Extracellular signal-related kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2) are mitogen-activated protein kinases that have been implicated in anesthetic preconditioning; but whether Erk1/2 triggers or mediates this beneficial effect and the mechanisms by which Erk1/2 produces cardioprotection are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that isoflurane preconditioning is triggered by Erk1/2 concomitant with upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in rats instrumented for hemodynamic measurement and subjected to a 30-min coronary artery occlusion and 2-h reperfusion.


Rats randomly received IV 0.9% saline (control) or isoflurane (1.0 minimum alveolar concentration administered for 30 min and discontinued 15 min [memory period] before coronary occlusion) in the absence or presence of the selective Erk1/2 inhibitor PD 098059 (1 mg/kg in dimethylsulfoxide administered IV either 3 min before exposure to isoflurane [trigger] or 3 min after discontinuation of the drug [mediator]). Additional rabbits were pretreated with dimethylsulfoxide alone. Left ventricular tissue samples were obtained at selected intervals from additional groups of rats for Western immunoblot analysis of phospho-Erk1/2, HIF-1alpha, and VEGF protein expression.


Isoflurane significantly (P < 0.05) reduced infarct size (41% +/- 8% of the left ventricular area at risk; triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining) as compared with control (59% +/- 4%). PD 098059 administered before, but not after, isoflurane abolished this cardioprotection (61% +/- 5% and 42% +/- 9%, respectively). Isoflurane-induced increases in phospho-Erk1/2, HIF-1alpha, and VEGF expression were also inhibited by PD 098059 pretreatment.


The results indicate that Erk1/2 triggers isoflurane preconditioning concomitant with HIF-1alpha and VEGF upregulation in vivo.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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