Melatonin protects against heart ischemia-reperfusion injury by inhibiting mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening

Giuseppe Petrosillo, Giuseppe Colantuono, Nicola Moro, Francesca M Ruggiero, Edy Tiravanti, Nicola Di Venosa, Tommaso Fiore, Giuseppe Paradies
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2009, 297 (4): H1487-93
Melatonin, a well-known antioxidant, has been shown to protect against ischemia-reperfusion myocardial damage. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening is an important event in cardiomyocyte cell death occurring during ischemia-reperfusion and therefore a possible target for cardioprotection. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that melatonin could protect heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury by inhibiting MPTP opening. Isolated perfused rat hearts were subjected to global ischemia and reperfusion in the presence or absence of melatonin in a Langerdoff apparatus. Melatonin treatment significantly improves the functional recovery of Langerdoff hearts on reperfusion, reduces the infarct size, and decreases necrotic damage as shown by the reduced release of lactate dehydrogenase. Mitochondria isolated from melatonin-treated hearts are less sensitive than mitochondria from reperfused hearts to MPTP opening as demonstrated by their higher resistance to Ca(2+). Similar results were obtained following treatment of ischemic-reperfused rat heart with cyclosporine A, a known inhibitor of MPTP opening. In addition, melatonin prevents mitochondrial NAD(+) release and mitochondrial cytochrome c release and, as previously shown, cardiolipin oxidation associated with ischemia-reperfusion. Together, these results demonstrate that melatonin protects heart from reperfusion injury by inhibiting MPTP opening, probably via prevention of cardiolipin peroxidation.

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