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Aust N Z J Surg. 1999 Mar;69(3):224-8.

Blood lipid profile in ischaemia reperfusion injury.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, Australia.



Lipid components are considered to play an important role in ischaemia reperfusion injury although the mechanism of their action remains unknown. Accumulation of lipid metabolites in ischaemic tissues is a consistent observation, but exactly how these lipids are cleared from the tissues by the circulating blood during reperfusion is still open to speculation. In the present study, levels of blood lipids (fatty acids, phospholipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, lysolecithin and lysolecithin platelet activating factor (lyso PAF)) and the enzyme phospholipase A2 were determined in an experimental animal model (dogs) of ischaemic reperfusion injury.


The injury was induced by 4 h of aortic clamping followed by 2 h of reperfusion (unclamping). Blood samples were collected before clamping and at predetermined time intervals (0, 15, 60 and 120 min) after the release of clamp. The lipid contents were analysed and compared with sham-treated control dogs.


The results showed significantly elevated levels of triglycerides and phospholipase A2, during ischaemia and reperfusion in experimental animals indicating tissue damage in the ischaemic phase continuing into the reperfusion phase and the risk of systemic damage from these toxic substances. Total fatty acid content in the circulating blood showed decreasing trends during the same time interval, which suggested possible reduced clearance of accumulated fatty acids from the affected tissues. Serum cholesterol, phospholipids, lyso PAF and lysolecithin did not show any significant variation compared with control dogs.


It is possible that the delayed clearance of fatty acids may be due to the presence of fatty acids binding proteins in the ischaemic tissue, which trap these fatty acids in the tissues during ischaemic reperfusion injury. The prolonged retention of the accumulated fatty acids in the tissues in association with elevated triglycerides and phospholipase A2 activity may contribute to ischaemia reperfusion injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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