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Activation of proteolytic enzymes and depression of the sarcolemmal Na+/K+-ATPase in ischemia–reperfused heart may be mediated through oxidative stress

Publication: Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
8 February 2012


We tested whether the activation of proteolytic enzymes, calpain, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) during ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) is mediated through oxidative stress. For this purpose, isolated rat hearts were subjected to a 30 min global ischemia followed by a 30 min reperfusion. Cardiac function was monitored and the activities of Na+/K+-ATPase, Mg2+-ATPase, calpain, and MMP were measured. Depression of cardiac function and Na+/K+-ATPase activity in I/R hearts was associated with increased calpain and MMP activities. These alterations owing to I/R were similar to those observed in hearts perfused with hypoxic medium, H2O2 and xanthine plus xanthine oxidase. The I/R-induced changes were attenuated by ischemic preconditioning as well as by perfusing the hearts with N-acetylcysteine or mercaptopropionylglycine. Inhibition of MMP activity in hearts treated with doxycycline depressed the I/R-induced changes in cardiac function and Na+/K+-ATPase activity without affecting the calpain activation. On the other hand, inhibition of calpain activity upon treatment with leupeptin or MDL 28170 significantly reduced the MMP activity in addition to attenuating the I/R-induced alterations in cardiac function and Na+/K+-ATPase activity. These results suggest that the I/R-induced depression in Na+/K+-ATPase and cardiac function may be a consequence of the increased activities of both calpain and MMP because of oxidative stress in the heart.


Nous avons vérifié si l’activation d’enzymes protéolytiques, la calpaïne et les métalloprotéases de la matrice (MMP), lors de l’ischémie–reperfusion (I/R) se produit par l’intermédiaire d’un stress oxydant. À cet effet, des cœurs de rats isolés ont été soumis à une ischémie globale de 30 minutes, suivie d’une reperfusion de 30 minutes. La fonction cardiaque a été surveillée et l’activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase, de la Mg2+-ATPase, de la calpaïne et des MMP a été mesurée. La diminution de la fonction cardiaque et de l’activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase dans les cœurs soumis à une I/R a été associée à une augmentation de l’activité de la calpaïne et des MMP. Ces modifications dues à l’I/R étaient similaires à celles observées chez des cœurs perfusés avec un milieu hypoxique, du H2O2 et d’un mélange xanthine et xanthine oxydase. Les changements induits par l’I/R étaient atténués par un préconditionnement ischémique ainsi que par une perfusion des cœurs avec de la N-acétylcystéine ou de la mercaptopropionylglycine. L’inhibition de l’activité des MMP chez les cœurs traités à la doxycycline réduisait l’ampleur des changements induits par l’I/R sur la fonction cardiaque et l’activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase sans affecter l’activation de la calpaïne. D’un autre côté, l’inhibition de l’activité de la calpaïne par un traitement au leupeptine ou au MDL 28170 réduisait l’activité des MMP de façon significative en plus d’atténuer les modifications de la fonction cardiaque et de l’activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase induites par l’I/R. Ces résultats suggèrent que la diminution de l’activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase et de la fonction cardiaque induite par l’I/R peut être une conséquence de l’augmentation de l’activité de la calpaïne et des MMP à cause d’un stress oxydant dans le cœur.

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Published In

cover image Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Volume 90Number 2February 2012
Pages: 249 - 260


Received: 30 September 2011
Accepted: 2 December 2011
Version of record online: 8 February 2012


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Key Words

  1. ischemia–reperfusion
  2. oxidative stress
  3. calpain activity
  4. matrix metalloproteinase activity
  5. cardiac function
  6. Na+/K+-ATPase activity


  1. ischémie–reperfusion
  2. stress oxydant
  3. activité de la calpaïne
  4. activité des métalloprotéases de la matrice
  5. fonction cardiaque
  6. activité de la Na+/K+-ATPase



Raja B. Singh
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6, Canada.
Larry Hryshko
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6, Canada.
Darren Freed
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6, Canada.
Naranjan S. Dhalla
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6, Canada.

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