Inhibition of phosphatase activity enhances preconditioning and limits cell death in the ischemic/reperfused aged rat heart

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Department of Physiology

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Aging; Animals; Cell Death; Enzyme Inhibitors; *Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial; Myocardial Reperfusion Injury; Myocardium; Okadaic Acid; Phosphoprotein Phosphatases; Phosphorylation; Protein Phosphatase 2; Rats; Rats, Inbred F344; Signal Transduction


Cardiovascular Diseases | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Physiology


Brief, nonlethal episodes of ischemia in the mammalian heart provide cardioprotection against the detrimental effects of a longer duration ischemia. The manifestation of this preconditioning (PC) phenomenon is initiated by the enhanced phosphorylation state of signal transduction proteins. We reported previously that PC is decreased in the aged rat myocardium. Although the mechanism responsible for this loss is not understood, a reduction in the phosphorylation of critical proteins associated with PC may be postulated. Experiments were conducted to investigate whether PC in the aged heart can be restored with the inhibition of endogenous protein phosphatases thereby enhancing phosphorylation of signaling proteins. Levels of phosphatase activities were also assessed with adult heart aging. Hearts from young adult (3-4 mo.) and aged (21-22 mo.) Fischer-344 rats were perfused in the presence or absence of okadaic acid (OKA; 0.1 microM). Aged adult hearts were either not preconditioned or were preconditioned with two PC cycles (5 min ischemia/5 min reperfusion). Myocardial cellular death that developed with a subsequent ischemia was determined with triphenyltetrazolium. With PC, 55% of the aged heart after ischemia was no longer viable. OKA administered before or after ischemia reduced this ischemia-induced cellular death by 29%. Without PC, OKA reduced viability 18% only when present before and after the ischemic episode. OKA in the ischemic young heart during reperfusion reduced the loss of viability 31%. The Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity was found to be up to 82% greater in ventricular myocardium of aged rats. In conclusion, aging-induced changes in protein dephosphorylation may be one mechanism reducing the manifestation of preconditioning in the aged heart.

DOI of Published Version



Life Sci. 2005 Nov 12;77(26):3375-88. Epub 2005 Aug 15. Link to article on publisher's site

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Life sciences

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