Despite efforts to elucidate its pathophysiology, ischemia-reperfusion injury lacks an effective preventative intervention. Because transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 4 (TRPM4) is functionally expressed by many cell types in the cardiovascular system and is involved in the pathogenesis of various cardiovascular diseases, we decided to assess its suitability as a target of therapy. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the possible cardioprotective effect of 9-phenanthrol, a specific inhibitor of TRPM4. Isolated Langendorff-perfused rat hearts were pretreated with Krebs-Henseleit (K-H) solution (control), 9-phenanthrol, or 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD, a blocker of the ATP-sensitive potassium channel) and then subjected to global ischemia followed by reperfusion with the K-H solution. To evaluate the extent of heart damage, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in the effluent solution was measured, and the size of infarcted area of the heart was measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. In controls, cardiac contractility decreased, and LDH activity and the infarcted area size increased. In contrast, in hearts pretreated with 9-phenanthrol, contractile function recovered dramatically, and the infarcted area size significantly decreased. The cardioprotective effects of 9-phenanthrol was not completely blocked by 5-HD. These findings show that 9-phenanthrol exerts a cardioprotective effect against ischemia in the isolated rat heart and suggest that its mechanism of action is largely independent of ATP-sensitive potassium channels.
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