Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract It is currently believed that reactive oxygen species are produced in the heart post-ischemia-reperfusion, causing pathophysiological disorders. Studies reported in the literature dealing with this subject have generated contradictory findings. The aim of this study was to assess the catalytic activity of the superoxide anion-producing enzyme xanthine oxidase, and the level of lipid peroxides in isolated rat heart muscle undergoing ischemia of varying duration and severity followed by reperfusion. Three levels of ischemia were investigated: total, and partial at either 0.10 or 0.35 ml/min (residual flow rate). Three different periods of ischemia were examined in each case. After each period of ischemia, followed by 10 min of reperfusion, the heart was frozen in liquid nitrogen. Xanthine oxidase activity and lipid peroxide levels were assayed in the cardiac homogenate and in the centrifuged supernatant, respectively. In the different experimental protocols studied here, both cardiac xanthine oxidase and lipid peroxide levels remained statistically unchanged compared to the continuously perfused control hearts. Moreover, in a recent study (Boucher et al., FEBS Lett. 203, 261–264, 1992), we were unable to detect reactive oxygen species in perfusate upon reperfusion of ischemic rat hearts. These results suggest that changes in xanthine oxidase activity during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion, and lipid peroxidation, as assessed by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactants and lipid hydroperoxides, are not predominant phenomena in ischemia-reperfusion-induced injury, at least in the experimental model used in this study. The significance of these results is discussed in the light of the popular point of view suggested first by McCord in 1985 concerning the conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase to xanthine oxidase in heart in the course of ischemia.
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