Direct evidence that protein kinase C plays an essential role in the development of late preconditioning against myocardial stunning in conscious rabbits and that ε is the isoform involved

Yumin Qiu, Peipei Ping, Xian Liang Tang, Srinivas Manchikalapudi, Ali Rizvi, Jun Zhang, Hitoshi Takano, Wen Jian Wu, Steffi Teschner, Roberto Bolli

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147 Scopus citations


Brief ischemic episodes confer marked protection against myocardial stunning 1-3 d later (late preconditioning [PC] against stunning). The mechanism of this powerful protective effect is poorly understood. Although protein kinase C (PKC) has been implicated in PC against infarction, it is unknown whether it triggers late PC against stunning. In addition, the entire PKC hypothesis of ischemic PC remains controversial, possibly because the effects of PKC inhibitors on PC protection have not been correlated with their effects on PKC activity and/or translocation in vivo. Thus, conscious rabbits underwent a sequence of six 4-min coronary occlusion (O)/4-min reperfusion (R) cycles for three consecutive days (days 1, 2, and 3). In the control group (group I, n = 7), the recovery of systolic wall thickening after the six O/R cycles was markedly improved on days 2 and 3 compared with day 1, indicating the development of late PC against stunning. Administration of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine at a dose of 5 mg/kg before the first O on day 1 (group II, n = 10) abrogated the late PC effect against stunning, whereas a 10-fold lower dose (0.5 mg/kg; group III, n = 7) did not. Administration of 5 mg/kg of chelerythrine 10 min after the sixth reperfusion on day 1 (group IV, n = 6) failed to block late PC against stunning. When rabbits were given 5 mg/kg of chelerythrine in the absence of O/R (group V, n = 5), the severity of myocardial stunning 24 h later was not modified. Pretreatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (4 μg/kg) on day 1 without ischemia (group VI, n = 11) induced late PC against stunning on day 2 and the magnitude of this effect was equivalent to that observed after ischemic PC. In vehicle-treated rabbits (group VIII, n = 5), the six O/R cycles caused translocation of PKC isoforms ε and η from the cytosolic to the particulate fraction without significant changes in total PKC activity, in the subcellular distribution of total PKC activity, or in the subcellular distribution of the α, β1, β2, γ, δ, ζ, τ, λ, and μ isoforms. The higher dose of chelerythrine (5 mg/kg; group X, n = 5) prevented the translocation of both PKC ε and η induced by ischemic PC, whereas the lower dose (0.5 mg/kg; group XI, n = 5) prevented the translocation of PKC η but not that of ε, indicating that the activation of ε is necessary for late PC to occur whereas that of η is not. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that a PKC inhibitor actually prevents the translocation of PKC induced by ischemic PC in vivo, and that this inhibition of PKC translocation results in loss of PC protection. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the mechanism of late PC against myocardial stunning in conscious rabbits involves a PKC-mediated signaling pathway, and implicate ε as the specific PKC isoform responsible for the development of this cardioprotective phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2182-2198
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Chelerythrine
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Myocardial reperfusion
  • PKC ε isoform
  • PKC η isoform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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