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Pflugers Arch. 2011 Aug;462(2):219-33. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-0970-1. Epub 2011 May 5.

Post-ischemic early acidosis in cardiac postconditioning modifies the activity of antioxidant enzymes, reduces nitration, and favors protein S-nitrosylation.

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Department of Biological and Clinical Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Pflugers Arch. 2014 Dec;466(12):2339-41.


Postconditioning (PostC) modifies the early post-ischemic pH, redox environment, and activity of enzymes. We hypothesized that early acidosis in PostC may affect superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities, may reduce 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) protein levels, and may increase S-nitrosylated (SNO) protein levels, thus deploying its protective effects. To verify this hypothesis, we studied the early (7(th) min) and late (120(th) min) phases of reperfusion (a) endogenous SOD and CAT activities and (b) 3-NT protein levels and SNO protein levels. Isolated rat hearts underwent 30-min ischemia/120-min reperfusion (I/R) or PostC (5 cycles of 10-s I/R at the beginning of 120-min reperfusion) either with or without exogenous CAT or SOD infused during the initial 3 min of reperfusion. The effects of early reperfusion with acid buffer (AB, pH 6.8) on endogenous antioxidant enzymes were also tested. Pressure, infarct size, and lactate dehydrogenase release were also measured. At the 7(th) min, PostC induced a significant decrease in SOD activity with no major change both in Mn and Cu/Zn SOD levels and in CAT activity and level. PostC also reduced 3-NT and increased SNO levels. Exogenous SOD, but not CAT, abolished PostC cardioprotection. In late reperfusion (120-min), I/R increased SOD activity but decreased CAT activity and Cu/Zn SOD levels; these effects were reversed by PostC; 3-NT was not affected, but SNO was increased by PostC. AB reproduced PostC effects on antioxidant enzymes. The conclusions are as follows: PostC downregulates endogenous SOD and preserves CAT activity, thus increasing SNO and reducing 3-NT levels. These effects are triggered by early post-ischemic acidosis. Yet acidosis-induced SOD downregulation may limit denitrosylation, thus contributing to PostC triggering. Hence, exogenous SOD, but not CAT, interferes with PostC triggering. Prolonged SOD downregulation and SNO increase may contribute to PostC and AB beneficial effects.

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