Home General Physiology and Biophysics 2007 General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.26, p.3-13, 2007

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Quarterly, 80 pp. per issue
Founded: 1982
ISSN  1338-4325 (online)

Published in English

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General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.26, p.3-13, 2007

Title: Intrinsic defensive mechanisms in the heart: a potential novel approach to cardiac protection against ischemic injury
Author: T. Ravingerova

Abstract: Despite recent advances in pharmacotherapy of coronary artery disease and interventional cardiology, the management of myocardial ischemia still remains a major challenge for basic scientists and clinical cardiologists. An urgent need to combat ischemic heart disease, its forms, such as infarction, and complications including sudden cardiac death led to the development of an alternative strategy of myocardial protection based on the exploitation of the heart’s own intrinsic protective mechanisms. A new concept relies on the evidence that the heart is able to protect itself by way of adaptation, either short-term or long-term, to transient episodes of stress (e.g., ischemia, hypoxia, free oxygen radicals, heat stress, etc.) preceding sustained ischemia. Preconditioning by brief episodes of ischemia (ischemic preconditioning, IP) represents the most powerful cardioprotective phenomenon. Apart from the short-lasting protection afforded by classical IP or its delayed (“second window”) phase, adaptation to long-lasting physiological stimuli or pathological processes is also known to increase myocardial resistance to ischemic injury. Although molecular mechanisms of cardiac adaptation conferring a higher ischemic tolerance still remain not sufficiently elucidated, multiple cascades of intracellular signalization are suggested to be involved in this process. Experimental studies led to the observations that pharmacological modulations at different levels of signal transduction might mimic protective effects of the adaptive phenomena and thus provide a safer way of inducing cardioprotection in humans.

Keywords: Myocardial ischemia — Endogenous cardioprotection — Ischemic preconditioning — Adaptation — Cell signaling
Year: 2007, Volume: 26, Issue: Page From: 3, Page To: 13

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