Improvement in Cardiac Function of Ovariectomized Rats by Antioxidant Tempol

Sukanya Phungphong, Anusak Kijtawornrat, Jonggonnee Wattanapermpool, Tepmanas Bupha-Intr
Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2020 August 4
A rise in heart disease incidence in women after menopause has led to investigations into the role of female sex hormones on cardiac function. Although various adverse changes in cardiac contractile function following loss of female sex hormones have been reported, a clear mechanism of action has never been characterized. In order to examine whether an elevation in oxidative stress is a major cause of cardiac contractile dysfunction after female sex hormone deprivation, cardiac functions of ovariectomized rats with and without supplementation of superoxide scavenger tempol were compared to those of sham-operated controls. Chronic deprivation of female sex hormones reduced total oxidative capacity and increased plasma carbonyl protein content. Tempol supplementation of ovariectomized rats significantly ameliorated plasma oxidative stress status. Echocardiography demonstrated a significant decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction in ovariectomized rats, which was completely prevented by tempol supplementation. Decreased myocardial contractility occurs with reduced maximum myofilament force of contraction and amplitude of transient intracellular Ca2+ concentration, both phenomena completely attenuated by tempol supplementation. However, tempol only partially prevented shift of heart myosin heavy chain from dominant α-to β-isoform of ovariectomized rats. Immunoblot analysis of protein carbonylation indicated that tempol supplementation significantly reduced the level of cardiac myofibrillar proteins oxidation increased in ovariectomized rat heart. Taken together, the results indicate changes of cardiac contractile machinery following loss of female sex hormones were, in part, due to an increase in oxidative stress, and antioxidant supplementation could be considered another potential prevention measure in postmenopausal women.

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