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Circ Res. 2002 Jan 11;90(1):100-6.

Poly(ADP-Ribose) polymerase inhibition reduces reperfusion injury after heart transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of the novel poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor PJ34 (N-(6-oxo-5,6-dihydro-phenanthridin-2-yl)-N,N-dimethylacetamide) on myocardial and endothelial function after hypothermic ischemia and reperfusion in a heterotopic rat heart transplantation model. After a 1-hour ischemic preservation, reperfusion was started either after application of placebo or PJ34 (3 mg/kg). The assessment of left ventricular pressure-volume relations, total coronary blood flow, endothelial function, myocardial high energy phosphates, and histological analysis were performed at 1 and 24 hours of reperfusion. After 1 hour, myocardial contractility and relaxation, coronary blood flow, and endothelial function were significantly improved and myocardial high energy phosphate content was preserved in the PJ34-treated animals. Improved transplant function was also seen with treatment with another, structurally different PARP inhibitor, 5-aminoisoquinoline. The PARP inhibitors did not affect baseline cardiac function. Immunohistological staining confirmed that PJ34 prevented the activation of PARP in the transplanted hearts. The activation of P-selectin and ICAM-1 was significantly elevated in the vehicle-treated heart transplantation group. Thus, pharmacological PARP inhibition reduces reperfusion injury after heart transplantation due to prevention of energy depletion and downregulation of adhesion molecules and exerts a beneficial effect against reperfusion-induced graft coronary endothelial dysfunction.

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