Effects of a protocol of ischemic postconditioning and/or captopril in hearts of normotensive and hypertensive rats

Basic Res Cardiol. 2010 Mar;105(2):181-92. doi: 10.1007/s00395-009-0075-6. Epub 2009 Dec 13.


Brief periods (a few seconds) of cyclic coronary occlusions applied early in reperfusion induce a cardioprotection against infarct size, called postconditioning (PostC) in which B(2)-bradykinin receptors play a pivotal role. Since angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce degradation of kinins, we studied the effects of PostC on infarct size and postischemic myocardial dysfunction in both normotensive (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) acutely or chronically treated with the ACE inhibitor Captopril. Isolated hearts from SHR and WKY rats were subjected to the following protocols: (a) ischemia for 30- and 120-min reperfusion (I/R); (b) I/R + PostC protocol (5-cycles 10-s I/R); (c) pretreatment with Captopril for 4-weeks before to subject the hearts to I/R with or without PostC maneuvers. Some SHR hearts were treated with Captopril during the 20- or 40-min early reperfusion with or without PostC maneuvers. Cardiac function was assessed in vivo with echocardiography. Left ventricular pressure and infarct size were measured ex vivo. Chronic Captopril significantly reduced left ventricular hypertrophy in SHR, and reduced infarct size in both WKY and SHR hearts. PostC maneuvers significantly reduced infarct size in WKY, but not in SHR hearts. Yet, PostC slightly improved postischemic systolic function in untreated SHR. Captopril given in reperfusion was unable to limit I/R injury in SHR hearts. Data show that PostC protection against infarct size is blunted in SHR and that PostC is unable to add its protective effect to those of chronic Captopril, which per se reduces cardiac hypertrophy and heart susceptibility to I/R insult.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Captopril / administration & dosage*
  • Echocardiography
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / drug therapy
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / complications
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Captopril