Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Anindita Das, PhD

Second Advisor

Rakesh C Kukreja, PhD

Third Advisor

Roland Pittman, PhD


Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Currently, the best method of treating cardiac ischemia is early reperfusion which, itself, induces myocardial damage. The mTOR complex is a key regulator of cardioprotection against cell stressors. We hypothesized that reperfusion therapy with Rapamycin, a potent mTOR inhibitor, would reduce infarct size in adult mouse hearts. Rapamycin was administered at the onset of reperfusion following 30 min in situ LAD ligation. After 24 hours of reperfusion, myocardial infarct size and apoptosis were significantly reduced in rapamycin-treated mice compared to control. Rapamycin inhibited pro-apoptotic protein Bax and phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (target of mTORC1), while it induced phosphorylation of AKT (target of mTORC2). Rapamycin also induced phosphorylation of ERK, while significantly reduced phosphorylation of p38. Thus, our study shows that reperfusion therapy with Rapamycin provides cardioprotection through induction of the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK.


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