The mitochondrial permeability transition pore as a target for preconditioning and postconditioning

Basic Res Cardiol. 2009 Mar;104(2):189-202. doi: 10.1007/s00395-009-0010-x. Epub 2009 Feb 26.


The experimental evidence supporting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) as a major mediator of lethal myocardial reperfusion injury and therefore a critical target for cardioprotection is persuasive. Although, its molecular identity eludes investigators, it is generally accepted that mitochondrial cyclophilin-D, the target for the inhibitory effects of cyclosporine-A on the mPTP, is a regulatory component of the mPTP. Animal myocardial infarction studies and a recent clinical proof-of-concept study have demonstrated that pharmacologically inhibiting its opening at the onset of myocardial reperfusion reduces myocardial infarct size in the region of 30-50%. Interestingly, the inhibition of mPTP opening at this time appears to underpin the infarct-limiting effects of the endogenous cardioprotective strategies of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) and postconditioning (IPost). However, the mechanism underlying this inhibitory action of IPC and IPost on mPTP opening is unclear. The objectve of this review article will be to explore the potential mechanisms which link IPC and IPost to mPTP inhibition in the reperfused heart.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial*
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology


  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore