Author(s): Liu L, Azhar G, Gao W, Zhang X, Wei JY
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Abstract It has been reported that programmed cell death (apoptosis) occurs during myocardial infarction. The influence of age on programmed cell death or DNA fragmentation after coronary occlusion has not been extensively characterized. To test the hypothesis that there are age-related differences in susceptibility to DNA fragmentation during ischemia-infarction, we studied DNA fragmentation in young adult and old male F344 rat hearts after acute coronary artery occlusion. Hearts were studied at 1, 3, and 5 h and 1 and 7 days after coronary ligation. The percentage of apoptotic cells was determined by the in situ end-labeling technique, and internucleosomal fragmentation (DNA laddering) pattern was also analyzed. Our results show that 1) DNA fragmentation began earlier and peaked earlier in the old compared with young adult hearts during infarction; 2) there was heightened expression of both Bcl-2 and Bax in the old hearts at baseline; and 3) the Bcl-2-to-Bax ratio was higher in the older heart after coronary ligation. These results suggest that, compared with the young adult heart, the aged heart may be more susceptible to ischemia-induced DNA fragmentation.
This article was published in Am J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology