Aim: To examine the effects of an Ilex paraguariensis (Ip) extract on postischemic alterations derived from 20 min of global ischemia and 30 min of reperfusion.
Methods: Isolated rat hearts were treated 10 min before ischemia and the first 10 min of reperfusion with Ip 30 microg/ml. In other hearts, chelerythrine (1 microM), a protein kinase C blocker, or l(G)-nitro l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, were administered prior to Ip infusion. Left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), +dP/dt(max), -dP/dt(max), and left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP) were used to assess myocardial function. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were measured.
Results: Ip treatment produced an improvement of postichemic recovery (LVDP=96+/-8%; +dP/dt(max)=95+/-10%; -dP/dt(max)=90+/-12% vs. 57+/-6%, 53+/-6% and 57+/-8%, respectively, in untreated hearts) and an attenuation of the increase of LVEDP and TBARS content. Chelerythrine did not modify and l-NAME abolished the protection induced by Ip.
Conclusions: These data are the first demonstration that Ip extract attenuates the myocardial dysfunction provoked by ischemia and reperfusion and that this cardioprotection involves a diminution of oxidative damage through a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism.