Research in Experimental Medicine

, Volume 187, Issue 4, pp 275–286 | Cite as

Tissue protection by allopurinol in the myocardial calcium paradox

  • A. N. Øksendal
  • K. A. Espnes
  • P. Jynge
Original Papers


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective properties of the xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol in the myocardial calcium paradox. Two injury levels, minimal and total calcium paradox, caused by different volumes (5 ml and 45 ml) of calcium-free perfusion (5 min) prior to calcium repletion (15 min) were examined ± allopurinol (0.15 mmol/l) in the normothermic isolated rat heart model.

Allopurinol supplementation (5 min prior to, during and 5 min following Ca2+-free perfusion) had no effect upon tissue injury in the total calcium paradox, but afforded considerable protection as assessed by enzymatic, physiologic, and metabolic parameters in the minimal calcium paradox. When allopurinol was omitted during calcium repletion, tissue protection was less apparent. The presence of verapamil (2 µmol/l) in addition to allopurinol (5 min prior to, during, and 5 min following calcium depletion) afforded only a marginal further protection in the minimal calcium paradox.

It is concluded from the present study that tissue protection by allopurinol in the calcium paradox is limited to minimal or less severe calcium paradox models and that the protective action of allopurinol may indicate an inhibition of the xanthine oxidase reaction and the generation of free oxygen radicals.

Key words

Calcium paradox Allopurinol Xanthine oxidase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. Øksendal
    • 1
  • K. A. Espnes
    • 1
  • P. Jynge
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TrondheimTrondheimNorway

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