Ischaemic post-conditioning in rats: Responder and non-responder differ in transcriptome of mitochondrial proteins

J Cell Mol Med. 2020 May;24(10):5528-5541. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.15209. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


Ischaemic post-conditioning (IPoC) is a clinical applicable procedure to reduce reperfusion injury. Non-responsiveness to IPoC possibly caused by co-morbidities limits its clinical attractiveness. We analysed differences in the expression of mitochondrial proteins between IPoC responder (IPoC-R) and non-responder (IPoC-NR). Eighty rats were randomly grouped to sham, ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R), IPoC or ischaemic pre-conditioning (IPC, as positive cardioprotective intervention) in vivo. Infarct sizes were quantified by plasma troponin I levels 60 minutes after reperfusion. After 7 days, rats were sacrificed and left ventricular tissue was taken for post hoc analysis. The transcriptome was analysed by qRT-PCR and small RNA sequencing. Key findings were verified by immunoblots. I/R increased plasma troponin I levels compared to Sham. IPC reduced troponin I compared to I/R, whereas IPoC produced either excellent protection (IPoC-R) or no protection (IPoC-NR). Twenty-one miRs were up-regulated by I/R and modified by IPoC. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that IPoC-R differed from other groups by reduced expression of arginase-2 and bax, whereas the mitochondrial uncoupling protein (UCP)-2 was induced in IPC and IPoC-R. IPoC-R and IPoC-NR synergistically increased the expression of non-mitochondrial proteins like VEGF and SERCA2a independent of the infarct size. Cardiac function was more closely linked to differences in mitochondrial proteins than on regulation of calcium-handling proteins. In conclusion, healthy rats could not always be protected by IPoC. IPoC-NR displayed an incomplete responsiveness which is reflected by different changes in the mitochondrial transcriptome compared to IPoC-R. This study underlines the importance of mitochondrial proteins for successful long-term outcome.

Keywords: UCP; VEGF; miRNA; post infarct remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Ischemic Postconditioning* / methods
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Transcriptome*
  • Troponin I / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Troponin I