Cell survival signalling in heart derived myofibroblasts induced by preconditioning and bradykinin: The role of p38 MAP kinase
BACKGROUND Depressed myocardial performance is an important clinical problem after open-heart surgery. We hypothesized that: (1) pretreating the heart with bradykinin improves postischemic performance, and (2) bradykinin activates protein tyrosine kinase (TK). METHODS Twenty-seven adult rabbit hearts underwent retrograde perfusion with Krebs-Henseleit buffer (KHB) followed by 50 min of 37 degrees C cardioplegic ischemia with St. Thomas' cardioplegia solution (StTCP). Ten control hearts received no pretreatment. Ten bradykinin-pretreated hearts received a 10-minute infusion of 0.1 microM bradykinin-enriched KHB and cardioplegic arrest with 0.1 microM bradykinin-enriched StTCP. Seven others received 40 microM Genistein (Research Biochemicals, Natick, MA), a selective inhibitor of TK, added to both the 0.1-microM bradykinin-enriched KHB and 0.1-microM bradykinin-enriched StTCP solutions. RESULTS Bradykinin pretreatment significantly improved postischemic myocardial performance and coronary flow (CF) compared with control (left ventricular developed pressure: 53 +/- 5 vs 27 +/- 4 mm Hg; +dP/dt(max): 1,025 +/- 93 vs 507 +/- 85 mm Hg/s; CF: 31 +/- 3 vs 22 +/- 2 mL/min; p < 0.05). Inhibition of TK with Genistein prevented this improvement in myocardial function, resulting in recovery equivalent to untreated controls. CONCLUSIONS Bradykinin pretreatment may be an important new strategy for improving myocardial protection during heart surgery. The molecular mechanism of action may be similar to those activated by ischemic preconditioning.