'Preconditioning at a distance' in the isolated rabbit heart

Eric W. Dickson, William A. Porcaro, Richard A. Fenton, Stephen O. Heard, Christopher P. Reindhardt, Francis P. Renzi, Karin Przyklenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: Brief myocardial ischemia evokes a cardioprotective response, referred to as 'ischemic preconditioning' (IP), that limits injury caused by a subsequent prolonged ischemic insult. The myocardial IP effect can be induced by ischemia of 'distant' cardiac and noncardiac tissue, implicating the involvement of an as-yet-unidentified humoral trigger. If a preconditioning hormone exists, the authors hypothesize that the IP effect should be transferable, via administration of coronary effluent, from a preconditioned donor heart to a virgin nonpreconditioned acceptor heart. Methods: Isolated buffer-perfused rabbit hearts were assigned to one of four treatment groups in a donor/acceptor sequence. Donor hearts underwent either three IP cycles or a matched period of uninterrupted perfusion (control donors). Coronary perfusate collected from IP and control donor hearts was reoxygenated and transfused to virgin acceptor hearts. All hearts then underwent 30 minutes of global ischemia followed by 30 minutes of reperfusion. Left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) (the authors' index of cardioprotection) was monitored throughout the protocol by a left ventricular (LV) balloon. Results: In donor controls, LVDP assessed at 30 minutes post-reflow was restored to only 49 ± 5% of baseline values. Recovery of LV function was significantly enhanced in both IP donor hearts (69 ± 4%*) and IP acceptor hearts (70 ± 6%*) vs donor controls (*p < 0.05), while, in acceptor controls, intermediate values of LVDP (62 ± 7%) were obtained. Conclusion: The IP effect can be transferred between rabbit hearts, suggesting the presence of a humoral trigger signal for distant preconditioning. Isolating this hormone may have therapeutic and diagnostic implications in the management of acute myocardial ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Infarction
  • Ischemic preconditioning
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Rabbit


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