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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 9;108(32):13258-63. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100286108. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Ryanodine receptor leak mediated by caspase-8 activation leads to left ventricular injury after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion.

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Institut de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, U1046, F-34295 Montpellier, France.


Myocardial ischemic disease is the major cause of death worldwide. After myocardial infarction, reperfusion of infracted heart has been an important objective of strategies to improve outcomes. However, cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is characterized by inflammation, arrhythmias, cardiomyocyte damage, and, at the cellular level, disturbance in Ca(2+) and redox homeostasis. In this study, we sought to determine how acute inflammatory response contributes to reperfusion injury and Ca(2+) homeostasis disturbance after acute ischemia. Using a rat model of I/R, we show that circulating levels of TNF-α and cardiac caspase-8 activity were increased within 6 h of reperfusion, leading to myocardial nitric oxide and mitochondrial ROS production. At 1 and 15 d after reperfusion, caspase-8 activation resulted in S-nitrosylation of the RyR2 and depletion of calstabin2 from the RyR2 complex, resulting in diastolic sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) leak. Pharmacological inhibition of caspase-8 before reperfusion with Q-LETD-OPh or prevention of calstabin2 depletion from the RyR2 complex with the Ca(2+) channel stabilizer S107 ("rycal") inhibited the SR Ca(2+) leak, reduced ventricular arrhythmias, infarct size, and left ventricular remodeling after 15 d of reperfusion. TNF-α-induced caspase-8 activation leads to leaky RyR2 channels that contribute to myocardial remodeling after I/R. Thus, early prevention of SR Ca(2+) leak trough normalization of RyR2 function is cardioprotective.

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