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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 3;101(31):11471-6. Epub 2004 Jul 26.

Cardioprotective effects of thioredoxin in myocardial ischemia and reperfusion: role of S-nitrosation [corrected].

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep 14;101(37):13694.


Apoptosis contributes to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury, and both thioredoxin (Trx) and nitric oxide have been shown to exert antiapoptotic effects in vitro. Recent evidence suggests that this particular action of Trx requires S-nitrosation at Cys-69. The present study sought to investigate whether or not exogenously applied Trx reduces MI/R injury in vivo and to which extent this effect depends on S-nitrosation. Adult mice were subjected to 30 min of MI and treated with either vehicle or human Trx (hTrx, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) 10 min before reperfusion. Native hTrx was incorporated into myocardial tissue as shown by immunostaining, and reduced MI/R injury as evidenced by decreased terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 activity, and infarct size. When hTrx was partially S-nitrosated by preincubation with S-nitrosoglutathione, its cardioprotective effect was markedly enhanced. Treatment with hTrx significantly reduced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity, and this effect was also potentiated by S-nitrosation. To further address the role of S-nitrosation for the overall antiapoptotic effect to Trx, the action of Escherichia coli Trx (eTrx) was investigated in the same model. Whereas eTrx inhibited MI/R-induced apoptosis to a degree similar to hTrx, S-nitrosation of this protein, which lacks Cys-69, failed to further enhance its antiapoptotic action. Collectively, our results demonstrate that systemically applied Trx is taken up by the myocardium to exert potent cardioprotective effects in vivo, offering interesting therapeutic avenues. In the case of hTrx, these effects are further potentiated by S-nitrosation, but this posttranslational modification is not essential for protection.

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