Send to

Choose Destination
Thromb Haemost. 2009 Apr;101(4):635-42.

Myocardial protection against reperfusion injury: the cGMP pathway.

Author information

Laboratorio de Cardiología Experimental, Area del Cor, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.


Reperfusion injury may cause myocardial cell death and limit the benefit achieved by restoration of coronary artery patency in patients with acute myocardial infarction. The mechanism includes altered Ca(2+) handling with cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload, Ca(2+)- and ATP-dependent hypercontraction, cytoskeletal fragility, mitochondrial permeability transition and gap junction-mediated propagation of cell death, as well as alterations in non-cardiomyocyte cells, in particular platelets and endothelial cells. cGMP modulates favorably all these mechanism, mainly through PKG-mediated actions, but cGMP synthesis is altered in reperfused cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells by mechanisms that are only partially understood. Stimulation of cGMP synthesis during initial reperfusion by means of natriuretic peptides has been found protective in different animal models and in patients. Moreover, increasing evidence indicates that cGMP is an important step in signal transduction of endogenous cardioprotection. Thus, the cGMP pathway appears as a key element in the pathophysiology of myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion and as a promising therapeutic target in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center