Insulin inhibits β-adrenergic action in ischemic/reperfused heart: a novel mechanism of insulin in cardioprotection
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Sympathetic overactivity is closely connected with cell injury and contractile dysfunction during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R). Insulin exerts protection for the I/R heart and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the ability of insulin to modulate β-adrenergic actions on myocardial contraction and post-ischemic injury in acute MI/R and the underlying mechanism.
Isolated hearts from adult SD rats were subjected to MI/R (30 min/2 h) and treated with isoproterenol (ISO) or/and insulin. Myocardial contraction, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, myocardial injury and infarction were assessed. In a separate study, isolated ventricular myocytes were subjected to simulated I/R (15/30 min) and myocyte shortening and intracellular Ca2+ transient in response to ISO during reperfusion were assessed with presence or absence of insulin.
In isolated I/R hearts, insulin largely reversed the ISO-associated contractile functional impairment at 2 h after MI/R, inhibiting ISO-induced declines in heart rate and left ventricular systolic pressure by 34.0% and 23.0% and preventing ISO-induced elevation in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure by 28.7% respectively (all P < 0.05). In addition, ISO alone resulted in enlarged infarct size, elevated CK and LDH activity and increased apoptotic index in I/R hearts compared with vehicle, which were inhibited by treatment of insulin (all P < 0.05). Interestingly, in SI/R cardiomyocytes, insulin alone at 10−7 mol/l increased cell contraction whereas attenuated the positive inotropic response to ISO (10−9 mol/l) during R as evidenced by a 18.7% reduction in peak twitch amplitude and a 23.9% reduction in calcium transient amplitude (both P < 0.05). Moreover, insulin blunted ISO-mediated increase in PKA activity, enhanced the PKA-dependent phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLB), resulting in increased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) activity.
Insulin attenuated the contractile response to β-AR stimulation and suppressed ISO-elicited cardiac dysfunction and cell injury in MI/R. The inhibitory effect of insulin on the β-adrenergic action involved the inhibition of PKA-mediated Ca2+ transient and promotion of post-ischemic Ca2+ handling.