Ethyl pyruvate has anti-inflammatory and delayed myocardial protective effects after regional ischemia/reperfusion injury

Yonsei Med J. 2010 Nov;51(6):838-44. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2010.51.6.838.


Purpose: Ethyl pyruvate has anti-inflammatory properties and protects organs from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced tissue injury. The aim of this study was to determine whether ethyl pyruvate decreases the inflammatory response after regional I/R injury and whether ethyl pyruvate protects against delayed regional I/R injury in an in vivo rat heart model after a 24 hours reperfusion.

Materials and methods: Rats were randomized to receive lactated Ringer's solution or ethyl pyruvate dissolved in Ringer's solution, which was given by intraperitoneal injection 1 hour prior to ischemia. Rats were subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by reperfusion of the left coronary artery territory. After a 2 hours reperfusion, nuclear factor κB, myocardial myeloperoxidase activity, and inflammatory cytokine levels were determined. After the 24 hours reperfusion, the hemodynamic function and myocardial infarct size were evaluated.

Results: At 2 hours after I/R injury, ethyl pyruvate attenuated I/R-induced nuclear factor κB translocation and reduced myeloperoxidase activity in myocardium. The plasma circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines decreased significantly in the ethyl pyruvate-treated group. At 24 hours after I/R injury, ethyl pyruvate significantly improved cardiac function and reduced infarct size after regional I/R injury.

Conclusion: Ethyl pyruvate has the ability to inhibit neutrophil activation, inflammatory cytokine release, and nuclear factor κB translocation. Ethyl pyruvate is associated with a delayed myocardial protective effect after regional I/R injury in an in vivo rat heart model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Pyruvates / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • NF-kappa B
  • Pyruvates
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Peroxidase