Dipropionylcysteine ethyl ester compensates for loss of citric acid cycle intermediates during post ischemia reperfusion in the pig heart

Takhar Kasumov, Naveen Sharma, Hazel Huang, Rajan S. Kombu, Andrea Cendrowski, William C. Stanley, Henri Brunengraber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose During reperfusion, following myocardial ischemia, uncompensated loss of citric acid cycle (CAC) intermediates may impair CAC flux and energy transduction. Propionate has an anaplerotic effect when converted to the CAC intermediate succinyl-CoA, and may improve contractile recovery during reperfusion. Antioxidant therapy with N-acetylcysteine decreases reperfusion injury. To synergize the antioxidant effects of cysteine with the anaplerotic effects of propionate, we synthesized a novel bi-functional compound, N,S-dipropionyl cysteine ethyl ester (DPNCE) and tested its anaplerotic and anti-oxidative capacity in anesthetized pigs. Methods Ischemia was induced by a 70% reduction in left anterior descending coronary artery flow for one hour, followed by 1 h of reperfusion. After 30 min of ischemia and throughout reperfusion animals were treated with saline or intravenous DPNCE (1.5 mġkg-1̇min-1, n=8/group). Arterial concentrations and myocardial propionate, cysteine, free fatty acids, glucose and lactate uptakes, cardiac mechanical functions, myocardial content of CAC intermediates and oxidative stress were assessed. Results Ischemia resulted in reduction in myocardial tissue concentration of CAC intermediates. DPNCE treatment elevated arterial propionate and cysteine concentrations and myocardial propionate uptake, and increased myocardial concentrations of citrate, succinate, fumarate, and malate compared to saline treated animals. DPNCE treatment did not affect blood pressure or myocardial contractile function, but increased arterial free fatty acid concentration and myocardial fatty acid uptake. Arterial cysteine concentration was elevated by DPNCE, but there was negligible myocardial cysteine uptake, and no change in markers of oxidative stress. Conclusion DPNCE elevated arterial cysteine and propionate, and increased myocardial concentration of CAC intermediates, but did not affect mechanical function or oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-469
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaplerosis
  • Citric acid cycle
  • Heart
  • Ischemia
  • Propionate
  • Reperfusion


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