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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Mar;296(3):H719-27. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00394.2008. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

PPAR-alpha activation protects the type 2 diabetic myocardium against ischemia-reperfusion injury: involvement of the PI3-Kinase/Akt and NO pathway.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The Rolf Luft Center for Diabetes Research, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, S-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.


Several clinical studies have shown the beneficial cardiovascular effects of fibrates in patients with diabetes and insulin resistance. The ligands of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha) reduce ischemia-reperfusion injury in nondiabetic animals. We hypothesized that the activation of PPAR-alpha would exert cardioprotection in type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, involving mechanisms related to nitric oxide (NO) production via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. GK rats and age-matched Wistar rats (n >or= 7) were given either 1) the PPAR-alpha agonist WY-14643 (WY), 2) dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), 3) WY and the NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA), 4) l-NNA, 5) WY and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin, or 6) wortmannin alone intravenously before a 35-min period of coronary artery occlusion followed by 2 h of reperfusion. Infarct size (IS), expression of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), inducible NO synthase, and Akt as well as nitrite/nitrate were determined. The IS was 75 +/- 3% and 72 +/- 4% of the area at risk in the Wistar and GK DMSO groups, respectively. WY reduced IS to 56 +/- 3% in Wistar (P < 0.05) and to 46 +/- 5% in GK rats (P < 0.001). The addition of either l-NNA or wortmannin reversed the cardioprotective effect of WY in both Wistar (IS, 70 +/- 5% and 65 +/- 5%, respectively) and GK (IS, 66 +/- 4% and 64 +/- 4%, P < 0.05, respectively) rats. The expression of eNOS and eNOS Ser1177 in the ischemic myocardium from both strains was increased after WY. The expression of Akt, Akt Ser473, and Akt Thr308 was also increased in the ischemic myocardium from GK rats following WY. Myocardial nitrite/nitrate levels were reduced in GK rats (P < 0.05). The results suggest that PPAR-alpha activation protects the type 2 diabetic rat myocardium against ischemia-reperfusion injury via the activation of the PI3K/Akt and NO pathway.

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