Skip to Content
Authors Pandalai PK, McLean KM, Bulcao CF, Duffy JY, D'Souza KM, Merrill WH, Pearl JM, Akhter SA
Author Profile(s)
Journal J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. Volume: 135 Issue: 4 Pages: 792-8
Publish Date 2008 Apr
PubMed ID 18374758

Beta-adrenergic receptor desensitization through activation of the G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 is an important mechanism of early cardiac dysfunction after brain death. We hypothesized that acute beta-blockade can prevent myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor desensitization after brain death through attenuation of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 activity, resulting in improved cardiac function.Adult pigs underwent either sham operation, induction of brain death, or treatment with esmolol (beta-blockade) for 30 minutes before and 45 minutes after brain death (n = 8 per group). Cardiac function was assessed at baseline and for 6 hours after the operation. Myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor signaling was assessed 6 hours after operation by measuring sarcolemmal membrane adenylate cyclase activity, beta-adrenergic receptor density, and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 expression and activity.Baseline left ventricular preload recruitable stroke work was similar among sham, brain death, and beta-blockade groups. Preload recruitable stroke work was significantly decreased 6 hours after brain death versus sham, and beta-blockade resulted in maintenance of baseline preload recruitable stroke work relative to brain death and not different from sham. Basal and isoproterenol-stimulated adenylate cyclase activities were preserved in the beta-blockade group relative to the brain death group and were not different from the sham group. Left ventricular G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 expression and activity in the beta-blockade group were markedly decreased relative to the brain death group and similar to the sham group. Beta-adrenergic receptor density was not different among groups.Acute beta-blockade before brain death attenuates beta-adrenergic receptor desensitization mediated by G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 and preserves early cardiac function after brain death. These data support the hypothesis that acute beta-adrenergic receptor desensitization is an important mechanism in early ventricular dysfunction after brain death. Future studies with beta-blocker therapy immediately after brain death appear warranted. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System