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Urocortin I Protects against Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury by Sustaining Respiratory Function and Cardiolipin Content via Mitochondrial ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel Opening



Objective:

Our experiments were aimed at probing whether urocortin I postconditioning was beneficial for maintaining the mitochondrial respiratory function and inhibiting the surging of reactive oxygen species. In addition, our experiments also intended to reveal the relationships between urocortin I postconditioning and mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel.


Methods:

Langendorff and MPA perfusion systems were used to establish myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury model and cardiomyocytes hypoxia-reoxygenation injury model in rats, respectively. Isolated hearts and cardiomyocytes were randomly divided into normal group, ischemia-reperfusion/hypoxia-reoxygenation group, urocortin I postconditioning group, and 5-hydroxysolanoic acid (5-HD)+urocortin I group. At the end of balance (T1) and reperfusion (T2), cardiac functions, mitochondrial state3 respiratory, respiratory control ratio, mitochondrial respiratory enzyme activity, and mitochondrial cardiolipin content were measured. Our experiments also observed the ultrastructure of myocardium. The changes of cardiomyocyte mitochondrial permeability transition pore, mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species, expression of apoptosis protein, and cardiomyocytes activity were detected at the end of reoxygenation.


Results:

The cardiac functions, mitochondrial respiratory function, and enzyme activity of the normal group were better than other three groups at T2, and urocortin I postconditioning group was better than the IR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group. LVEDP, +dp/dtmax, mitochondrial respiratory function, and enzyme activity of IR group were worse than 5-HD+urocortin I group. Cardiolipin content of the normal group was higher than the other three groups at T2, urocortin I postconditioning group was higher than the IR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group, and 5-HD+urocortin I group was still higher than the IR group. The ultrastructure of the normal group maintained the most integrated than the other groups, IR group suffered the most serious damage, and ultrastructure of the urocortin I postconditioning group was better than the IR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group. At the end of reoxygenation, activity of mitochondrial permeability transition pore and generation of reactive oxygen species of normal group were lower than the other groups, HR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group were higher than the urocortin I postconditioning group, and 5-HD+urocortin I group was still higher than the urocortin I postconditioning group. Normal group had the highest level of mitochondrial membrane potential at the end of reoxygenation, and the urocortin I postconditioning group was higher than the HR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group. The normal group had the lowest expression level of Bax and the highest expression level of Bcl-2 at the end of reoxygenation. Urocortin I postconditioning group had lower Bax expression but higher Bcl-2 expression than the HR and 5-HD+urocortin I group. Accordingly, the normal group had the highest activity of cardiomyocytes, and the urocortin I postconditioning group was higher than the HR group and 5-HD+urocortin I group.


Conclusions:

Urocortin I postconditioning can protect the activity of cardiomyocytes after hypoxia-reoxygenation injury, improve the mitochondrial respiratory function, and enhance the contractility of isolated heart after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. The alleviation of myocardial injury relates to the opening of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel.



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