Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 360, Issue 1–2, pp 353–362 | Cite as

Microarray expression analysis in delayed cardioprotection: the effect of exercise, AICAR, or metformin and the possible role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)

  • Lasse SolskovEmail author
  • Nils E. Magnusson
  • Steen B. Kristiansen
  • Niels Jessen
  • Torsten T. Nielsen
  • Ole Schmitz
  • Hans Erik Bøtker
  • Sten Lund


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an enzyme which may be involved in cardioprotective mechanisms in the ischemic heart. Exercise, AICAR, and metformin, all known activators of AMPK, induce delayed cardioprotection which protects the heart against ischemia–reperfusion injury. The objective was to determine the effect of exercise, AICAR, and metformin on gene expression profile and to demonstrate possible interactions in different genes and functions. Rats were divided into either an exercise, AICAR, metformin, or control group. 3, 12, and 24 h after either a single bout of exercise training, a single injection of AICAR or a single dose of metformin, hearts were removed and gene expression profiles were analyzed in tissue from the left ventricle using Affymetrix gene chip probe arrays. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) tool was used to analyze the regulated genes for relevant functions and diseases. Each gene chip identified up to 30,000 different probesets of which Ingenuity identified approximately up to 12,000 genes. A total of 147, 304, and 114 different genes in the left ventricle whose expressions were altered >2.0-fold were identified in the exercise, AICAR, and metformin group, respectively. Seventy eight different genes were overlapping the exercise and AICAR group at 24 h. Ingenuity identified six overlapping genes between the exercise, AICAR, and metformin groups including NR4A3, TNFRSF12A, HBB, PENK, PAP, and MAP4K4. IPA software revealed an overabundance of focus molecules in all three intervention groups involving functions related to cell death, cellular growth and proliferation, gene expression and cancer. Exercise, AICAR, and metformin regulate several genes in the rat myocardium with the majority of overlapping genes observed in the exercise and AICAR group. Changes in gene programming mainly involved inflammatory and opioid systems recognized as cardioprotective pathways. Some of these genes may represent possible candidate genes involved in the molecular mechanisms of AMPK-induced delayed PC.


AMPK Delayed preconditioning Cardioprotection Microarray Genes 



Nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 3


Tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 12A


Hemoglobin, beta




Pancreatitis-associated protein


Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lasse Solskov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nils E. Magnusson
    • 1
  • Steen B. Kristiansen
    • 3
  • Niels Jessen
    • 1
  • Torsten T. Nielsen
    • 3
  • Ole Schmitz
    • 1
  • Hans Erik Bøtker
    • 3
  • Sten Lund
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Pharmacology, The Bartholin BuildingUniversity of AarhusÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Medical Research Laboratory and Medical Department M (Endocrinology and Diabetes)Aarhus University HospitalAarhus SygehusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyAarhus University HospitalSkejbyDenmark

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