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Circ Res. 2006 Feb 3;98(2):271-9. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Xanthine oxidoreductase inhibition causes reverse remodeling in rats with dilated cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21212, USA.

Erratum in

  • Circ Res. 2006 May 12;98(9):e70. Barouch, Lili A [added].


Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is implicated in cardiac remodeling in heart failure (HF). As xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) is 1 of the major sources of ROS, we tested whether XOR inhibition could improve cardiac performance and induce reverse remodeling in a model of established HF, the spontaneously hypertensive/HF (SHHF) rat. We randomized Wistar Kyoto (WKY, controls, 18 to 21 months) and SHHF (19 to 21 months) rats to oxypurinol (1 mmol/L; n=4 and n=15, respectively) or placebo (n=3 and n=10, respectively) orally for 4 weeks. At baseline, SHHF rats had decreased fractional shortening (FS) (31+/-3% versus 67+/-3% in WKY, P<0.0001) and increased left-ventricular (LV) end-diastolic dimension (9.7+/-0.2 mm versus 7.0+/-0.4 mm in WKY, P<0.0001). Whereas placebo and oxypurinol did not change cardiac architecture in WKY, oxypurinol attenuated decreased FS and elevated LV end-diastolic dimension, LV end-systolic dimension, and LV mass in SHHF. Increased myocyte width in SHHF was reduced by oxypurinol. Additionally, fetal gene activation, altered calcium cycling proteins, and upregulated phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase were restored toward normal by oxypurinol (P<0.05 versus placebo-SHHF). Importantly, SHHF rats exhibited increased XOR mRNA expression and activity, and oxypurinol treatment reduced XOR activity and superoxide production toward normal, but not expression. On the other hand, NADPH oxidase activity remained unchanged, despite elevated subunit protein abundance in treated and untreated SHHF rats. Together these data demonstrate that chronic XOR inhibition restores cardiac structure and function and offsets alterations in fetal gene expression/Ca2+ handling pathways, supporting the idea that inhibiting XOR-derived oxidative stress substantially improves the HF phenotype.

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