Author(s): Maulik N, Yoshida T, Das DK
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Abstract Apoptosis or programmed cell death is a genetically controlled response for cells to commit suicide and, is associated with DNA fragmentation or laddering. The common inducers of apoptosis include oxygen free radicals/oxidative stress and Ca2+ which are also implicated in the pathogenesis of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury. To examine whether ischemic reperfusion injury is mediated by apoptotic cell death, isolated perfused rat hearts were subjected to 15, 30 or 60 min of ischemia as well as 15 min of ischemia followed by 30, 60 or 120 min of reperfusion. At the end of each experiment, hearts were processed for the evaluation of apoptosis, DNA laddering. Apoptosis was studied by visualizing the apoptotic cardiomyocytes by direct fluorescence detection of digoxigenin-labeled genomic DNA using APOPTAG in situ apoptosis detection kit. DNA laddering was evaluated by subjecting the DNA obtained from the hearts to 1.8\% agarose gel electrophoresis and photographed under UV illumination. The results of our study revealed apoptotic cells only in the 60 and 120 min reperfused hearts as demonstrated by the intense fluorescence of the immunostained digoxigenin-labeled genomic DNA when observed under fluorescence microscopy. None of the ischemic hearts showed any evidence of apoptosis. These results corroborated with the findings of DNA fragmentation which showed increased ladders of DNA bands in the same reperfused hearts representing integer multiples of the intenucleosomal DNA length (about 180 bp). The presence of apoptotic cells and DNA fragmentation in the myocardium were abolished by preperfusing the hearts in the presence of ebselen, which also removed the oxidative stress developed in the heart. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate that oxidative stress developed in the ischemic reperfused myocardium induces apoptosis.
This article was published in Free Radic Biol Med
and referenced in Journal of Traditional Medicine & Clinical Naturopathy