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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 724, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 58-66.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.12.027. Copyright © Elsevier


Sevoflurane preconditioning against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury is lost if the ischemic insult is too long. Emerging evidence suggests that induction of autophagy may also confer cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. We examined whether induction of autophagy prolongs sevoflurane preconditioning protection during a longer ischemic insult. Isolated guinea pigs hearts were subjected to 30 or 45 min ischemia, followed by 120 min reperfusion (control). Anesthetic preconditioning was elicited with 2% sevoflurane for 10 min prior to ischemia (SEVO-30, SEVO-45). Chloramphenicol (autophagy upregulator, 300 µM) was administered starting 20 min before ischemia and throughout reperfusion in SEVO-45 (SEVO-45+CAP). To inhibit autophagy, 3-methyladenine (10 μM) was administered during sevoflurane administration in SEVO-45+CAP. Infarct size was determined by triphenyltetrazolium chloride stain. Tissue samples were obtained before ischemia to determine autophagy-related protein (microtubule-associated protein light chain I and II: LC3-I, II), Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) expression using Western blot analysis. The effect of autophagy on calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening in isolated calcein-loaded mitochondria was assessed. Electron microscopy was used to detect autophagosomes. Infarct size was significantly reduced in SEVO-30, but not in SEVO-45. Chloramphenicol restored sevoflurane preconditioning lost by 45 min ischemia. There were more abundant autophagozomes and LC3-II expression was significantly increased in SEVO-45+CAP. Induction of autophagy before ischemia enhanced GSK3β phosphorylation and inhibition of calcium-induced MPTP opening. These effects were abolished by 3-methyladenine. Pre-ischemic induction of autophagy restores sevoflurane preconditioning lost by longer ischemic insult. This effect is associated with enhanced inhibition of MPTP by autophagy.

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