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Eur Heart J. 1990 Sep;11(9):800-13.

Polymorphonuclear leucocytes as potential source of free radicals in the ischaemic-reperfused myocardium.

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Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington 06032.


The feasibility of polymorphonuclear leucocytes as a potential source of free radicals during reperfusion of ischaemic myocardium was evaluated. Isolated rat heart was perfused in the presence of f-Met-Leu-Phe-activated and normal polymorphonuclear leucocytes for 30 min. To judge the degree of cellular injury which might result from activated polymorphonuclear leucocytes during perfusion, isolated hearts were also perfused with superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals, and hypochlorous acid-generating systems in the absence or presence of their corresponding scavengers, superoxide dismutase plus catalase, dimethylthiourea, and allopurinol, respectively. Activated polymorphonuclear leucocytes stimulated the release of lactate dehydrogenase, a biological marker of cellular injury, and malondialdehyde, a presumptive marker for lipid peroxidation; increased tissue injury, as evidenced by morphologic examinations using light and electron microscopy; decreased dry/wet ratios of heart, signifying oedema formation; and reduced myocardial adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate content as well as coronary flow, indicating decreased myocardial performance. These biological, physiological, and morphologic parameters were reversed significantly, but not completely, by treating the heart with scavengers, superoxide dismutase plus catalase or allopurinol, but were reversed completely by simultaneous treatment with superoxide dismutase, catalase, and allopurinol. Comparable results were obtained when the hearts were treated with each of these free radical-generating systems and their corresponding scavengers. Generation of free radicals was confirmed either by cytochrome c reduction or by examining the chemiluminescence response using a luminometer. These results indicate that activated polymorphonuclear leucocytes can cause myocardial cellular injury equivalent to the damage caused by free radicals and oxidants which are present in an ischaemic-reperfused heart, suggesting that polymorphonuclear leucocytes may be a potential source of free radicals in the reperfused heart.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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