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It has been well documented that phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, sildenafil (SIL) protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I-R) injury. SIRT1 is part of the class III Sirtuin family of histone deacetylases that deacetylates proteins involved in cellular stress response including those related to I-R injury.
We tested the hypothesis that SIL-induced cardioprotection may be mediated through activation of SIRT1.
Adult male ICR mice were treated with SIL (0.7 mg/kg, i.p.), Resveratrol (RSV, 5 mg/kg, a putative activator of SIRT1 used as the positive control), or saline (0.2 mL). The hearts were harvested 24 hours later and homogenized for SIRT1 activity analysis.
Both SIL- and RSV-treated mice had increased cardiac SIRT1 activity (P<0.001) as compared to the saline-treated controls 24 hours after drug treatment. In isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes, pretreatment with SIL (1 µM) or RSV (1 µM) for one hour in vitro also upregulated SIRT1 activity (P<0.05). We further examined the causative relationship between SIRT1 activation and SIL-induced late cardioprotection. Pretreatment with SIL (or RSV) 24 hours prior to 30 min ischemia and 24 hours of reperfusion significantly reduced infarct size, which was associated with a significant increase in SIRT1 activity (P<0.05). Moreover, sirtinol (a SIRT1 inhibitor, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) given 30 min before I-R blunted the infarct-limiting effect of SIL and RSV (P<0.001).
Our study shows that activation of SIRT1 following SIL treatment plays an essential role in mediating the SIL-induced cardioprotection against I-R injury. This newly identified SIRT1-activating property of SIL may have enormous therapeutic implications.
© 2014 Shalwala et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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