Author(s): Boengler K, Schulz R, Heusch G
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Abstract Not only the prevalence, but also the mortality due to ischaemic cardiovascular disease is higher in older than in young humans, and the demographic shift towards an ageing population will further increase the prevalence of age-related cardiovascular disease. In order to develop strategies aimed to limit reversible and irreversible myocardial damage in older patients, there is a need to better understand age-induced alterations in protein expression and cell signalling. Cardioprotective phenomena such as ischaemic and pharmacological pre and postconditioning attenuate ischaemia/reperfusion injury in young hearts. Whether or not pre and postconditioning are still effective in aged organs, animals, or patients, i.e. under conditions where such cardioprotection is most relevant, is still a matter of debate; most studies suggest a loss of protection in aged hearts. The present review discusses changes in protein expression and cell signalling important to ischaemia/reperfusion injury with myocardial ageing. The efficacy of cardioprotective manoeuvres, e.g. ischaemic pre and postconditioning in aged organs and animals will be discussed, and the development of strategies aimed to antagonize the age-induced loss of protection will be addressed.
This article was published in Cardiovasc Res
and referenced in Translational Medicine