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Authors Xu X, Philip JL, Razzaque MA, Lloyd JW, Muller CM, Akhter SA
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Journal J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. Volume: 149 Issue: 2 Pages: 588-93
Publish Date 2015 Feb
PubMed ID 25455467
PMC ID 4459731

Cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury remains a significant problem as there are no therapies available to minimize the cell death that can lead to impaired function and heart failure. We have shown that high-molecular-weight polyethylene glycol (PEG) (15-20 kD) can protect cardiac myocytes in vitro from hypoxia-reoxygenation injury. In this study, we investigated the potential protective effects of PEG in vivo.Adult rats underwent left anterior descending artery occlusion for 60 minutes followed by 48 hours or 4 weeks of reperfusion. One milliliter of 10% PEG solution or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) control (n = 10 per group) was administered intravenously (IV) immediately before reperfusion.Fluorescein-labeled PEG was robustly visualized in the myocardium 1 hour after IV delivery. The PEG group had significant recovery of left ventricular ejection fraction at 4 weeks versus a 25% decline in the PBS group (P < .01). There was 50% less LV fibrosis in the PEG group versus PBS with smaller peri-infarct and remote territory fibrosis (P < .01). Cell survival signaling was upregulated in the PEG group with increased Akt (3-fold, P < .01) and ERK (4-fold, P < .05) phosphorylation compared to PBS controls at 48 hours. PEG also inhibited apoptosis as measured by TUNEL-positive nuclei (56% decrease, P < .02) and caspase 3 activity (55% decrease, P < .05).High-molecular-weight PEG appears to have a significant protective effect from I-R injury in the heart when administered IV immediately before reperfusion. This may have important clinical translation in the setting of acute coronary revascularization and myocardial protection in cardiac surgery.

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