There is some recent evidence that cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury induces intestinal damage within days, which contributes to adverse cardiovascular outcomes after myocardial infarction. However, it is not clear whether remote gut injury has any detectable early signs, and whether different interventions aiming to reduce cardiac damage are also effective at protecting the intestine. Previously, we found that chronic treatment with rofecoxib, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), limited myocardial infarct size to a comparable extent as cardiac ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in rats subjected to 30-min coronary artery occlusion and 120-min reperfusion. In the present study, we aimed to analyse the early intestinal alterations caused by cardiac I/R injury, with or without the above-mentioned infart size-limiting interventions. We found that cardiac I/R injury induced histological changes in the small intestine within 2 h, which were accompanied by elevated tissue level of COX-2 and showed positive correlation with the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), but not of MMP-9 in the plasma. All these changes were prevented by rofecoxib treatment. By contrast, cardiac IPC failed to reduce intestinal injury and plasma MMP-2 activity, although it prevented the transient reduction in jejunal blood flow in response to cardiac I/R. Our results demonstrate for the first time that rapid development of intestinal damage follows cardiac I/R, and that two similarly effective infarct size-limiting interventions, rofecoxib treatment and cardiac IPC, have different impacts on cardiac I/R-induced gut injury. Furthermore, intestinal damage correlates with plasma MMP-2 activity, which may be a biomarker for its early diagnosis.
Keywords: Cyclooxygenase-2; Ischemic preconditioning; Matrix metalloproteinase; Myocardial infarction; Remote ischemia/reperfusion injury; Small intestine.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.