, Volume 267, Issue 1-2, pp 47-58

Time course studies on the functional evaluation of experimental chronic myocardial infarction in rats

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In vivo models of myocardial infarction induced by coronary artery ligation (CAL) in rats usually suffer from high early mortality and a low rate of induction. This study investigated the time course initiation of chronic myocardial infarction (CMI) in albino rats and the possibility of reducing early mortality rate due to myocardial infarction by modification of the surgical technique. CAL was carried out by passing the suture through the epicardial layer around the midway of the left anterior descending coronary artery including a small area of the myocardium to avoid mechanical damage to the heart geometry. In addition, the role of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in rat heart with congestive heart failure was critically assessed. Time course initiation experiments were designed by sacrificing the animals at different time intervals and by carrying out physiological, biochemical, histopathological, electron microscopical and immunohistochemical studies. Specific markers of myocardial injury, viz. cardiac troponin-T (cTnT), high sensitivity C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase and fibrinogen were measured at different time points. Serum marker enzymes and activities of lysosomal hydrolases were found to be elevated on the eighth day post-ligation. Histopathological studies demonstrated focal areas showing fibrovascular tissue containing fibroblasts, collagenous ground substance and numerous small capillaries replacing cardiac muscle fibers. Transmission electron micrographs exhibited mitochondrial changes of well-developed irreversible cardiac injury, viz. swelling, disorganization of cristae, appearance of mitochondrial amorphous matrix densities, significant distortion of muscle fibers and distinct disruption of the intercalated discs. Immunoblotting studies confirmed the presence of alpha 2-macroglobulin which supported the inflammatory response. The severity of the CMI was inferred by the measurement of the level of ET-1 in plasma and left ventricle which was significantly higher in the CMI rats than in the sham-operated rats. Immunohistochemical studies at different time intervals showed that there was a significant immunoexpression of ET-1 on the eighth day post-ligation. This study conclusively showed that ligation of left anterior descending artery minimized mortality and ET-1 was expressed during CMI. (Mol Cell Biochem 267: 47–58, 2004)