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Circ Res. 1990 Dec;67(6):1481-93.

Regeneration of myocardial phosphocreatine in pigs despite continued moderate ischemia.

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  • 1Heart Research Laboratory, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201-3098.


The effects of 1 hour of mild and moderate reductions in coronary blood flow on myocardial high-energy phosphate levels were evaluated. Thirty anesthetized pigs were instrumented with left anterior descending arterial and venous catheters, crystals for instantaneous wall thickness, and a fluid-filled occluder. Measurement of myocardial blood flow was performed with microspheres, and a series of myocardial biopsies also was performed. In 10 pigs, overall coronary blood flow was lowered by 22%, with a fall in subendocardial-to-subepicardial flow ratio from 1.11 to 0.54 and in wall thickening from 33% to 15%. Subendocardial flow fell 48%. Coronary blood flow and thickening were constant during 1 hour of ischemia. Phosphocreatine (mumol/g wet wt) in the subendocardial third of the ischemic zone fell from 7.6 to 3.8 at 5 minutes of ischemia (p less than 0.005 versus control) and returned to normal (7.9) at 60 minutes (p = NS), despite ongoing ischemia. Subendocardial ATP (mumol/g wet wt) fell slowly from 4.3 and leveled off at 2.1 at 60 minutes of ischemia (p less than 0.001 versus control). Similar regeneration of phosphocreatine was found in seven additional pigs, with a 43% transmural reduction in coronary blood flow and a 66% reduction in subendocardial flow. No significant changes in ATP and phosphocreatine were noted in two different control groups (n = 13 pigs). The regeneration of phosphocreatine despite ongoing ischemia and low ATP levels was not related to changes in myocardial oxygen demand or consumption, or in regional function during the period of ischemia. This may reflect 1) a successful downregulation of the energy needs of the ischemic myocardium to maintain cell viability, or 2) a metabolic abnormality in the ability of the cells to produce ATP primarily or by use of phosphocreatine.

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