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Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Jan;242(1-2):115-20.

Different pathways for sodium entry in cardiac cells during ischemia and early reperfusion.

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CNRS UMR 8078, Hôpital Marie Lannelongue, Université Paris-Sud XI, Orsay, France.


A number of data are consistent with the hypothesis that increases in intracellular Na+ concentration (Na+i) during ischemia and early reperfusion lead to calcium overload and exacerbation of myocardial injury. However, the mechanisms underlying the increased Na+i remain unclear. 23Na nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to monitor Na+i in isolated rat hearts perfused with a high concentration of fatty acid as can occur under some pathological conditions. Whole-cell patch-clamp experiments were also performed on isolated cardiomyocytes in order to investigate the role of voltage-gated sodium channels. Na+i increased to substantially above control levels during no-flow ischemia. The results show that a pharmacological reduction of Na+i increase by cariporide (1 micromol/L, a Na+/H+ exchange blocker) is not the only protection against ischemia-reperfusion damage, but that such protection may also be brought about by metabolic action aimed at reducing fatty acid utilization by myocardial cells. This action was obtained in the presence of etomoxir (0.1 micromol/L), an inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (the key enzyme involved in fatty acid uptake by the mitochondria) which also decreases long-chain acyl carnitine accumulation. The possibility of Na+ channels participating in Na+i increase as a consequence of alterations in cardiac metabolism was studied in isolated cells. Sustained I(Na) was stimulated by the presence of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC, 10 micromol/L) whose accumulation during ischemia is, at least partly, dependent on increased long-chain acyl carnitine. Current activation was particularly significant in the range of potentials between -60 and -20 mV. This may have particular relevance in ischemia. The quantity of charge carried by sustained I(Na) was reduced by 24% in the presence of 1 micromol/L cariporide. Therefore, limitation of long-chain fatty acid metabolism, and consequent limitation of ischemia-induced long-chain acyl carnitine accumulation, may contribute to reducing intracellular Na+ increase during ischemia-reperfusion.

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