Effects of ethyl pyruvate on myocardial apoptosis and expression of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins after ischemia-reperfusion in rats

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2008 Jun;28(3):281-3. doi: 10.1007/s11596-008-0311-6. Epub 2008 Jun 19.


In order to study the effects of ethyl pyruvate on cardiomyocyte apoptosis following ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in vitro and the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins, isolated rat hearts were perfused in a Langendorff model. Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (n=8 in each group): control group was perfused for 120 min. In the I/R group, after 30 min stabilization the injury was induced by 30 min global ischemia followed by 60 min reperfusion. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) group was set up with the same protocol as I/R group except that it was supplied with 2 mmol/L EP 15 min before ischemia and throughout reperfusion. Myocardial malonaldehyde (MDA) content was measured. Myocardial apoptotic index (AI) was tested by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. The expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and pro-apoptotic protein Bax in cardiac myocytes was detected by immunohistochemistry. As compared with control group, the content of MDA, myocardial AI and the expression of Bcl-2, Bax proteins were increased significantly in I/R group, but the content of MDA, myocardial AI and the expression of Bax protein were decreased obviously and the expression of Bcl-2 protein was up-regulated in EP group (P<0.05). These results demonstrate that EP could inhibit apoptosis of cardiac myocytes possibly via alleviating oxidative stress, up-regulating Bcl-2 and down-regulating Bax proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / pharmacology
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Pyruvates / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Pyruvates
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Malondialdehyde