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Basic Res Cardiol. 2012 Jul;107(4):272. doi: 10.1007/s00395-012-0272-6. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Postconditioning with glucagon like peptide-2 reduces ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated rat hearts: role of survival kinases and mitochondrial KATP channels.

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Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Region Gonzole 10, 10043, Orbassano, TO, Italy.


We recently reported that heart expresses functional receptors for the anorexigenic glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-2. Activation of these cardiac receptors affected basal heart performance through extracellular regulated kinase (ERK1/2) activation. Since ERK1/2 is considered one of the prosurvival kinases of postconditioning cardioprotective pathways, we hypothesized that GLP-2 directly protects the heart against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury via prosurvival kinases. Wistar rat hearts were retrogradely perfused on a Langendorff perfusion apparatus. After 40-min stabilization, hearts underwent 30-min global ischemia and 120-min reperfusion (I/R group). In GLP-2 group, the hearts received 20-min GLP-2 (10(-7) M) infusion at the beginning of the 120-min reperfusion. Perfusion pressure and left ventricular pressure (LVP) were monitored. Infarct size was evaluated by nitroblue-tetrazolium staining. Compared with the I/R group, GLP-2-treated hearts showed a significant reduction of infarct size and of postischemic diastolic LVP (index of contracture), together with a sharp improvement of developed LVP recovery (index of contractility). The protective effects were abolished by co-infusion with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, Wortmannin (WT), the ERK1/2 inhibitor, PD98059, or the mitochondrial K(ATP) channel blocker, 5-hydroxydecanoate. GLP-2 effects were accompanied by increased phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), ERK1/2 and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK3β). After 7-min reperfusion, WT blocked Akt and GSK3β phosphorylation. After 30-min reperfusion, WT inhibited phosphorylation of all kinases. In conclusion, the data suggest that GLP-2, given in early reperfusion, as postconditioning, protects against myocardial I/R injury, limiting infarct size, and improving post-ischemic mechanical recovery. It seems that the GLP-2-protection of rat heart involves multiple prosurvival kinases and mitochondrial K(ATP) channels.

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