Excitation of sensory nerves and activation of myocardial protein kinase C (PKC) ε contribute to the transduction of remote preconditioning (RPC) to the heart. Since calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) is an important mediator of sensory neurons we tried to delineate whether CGRP a) protects the heart from ischemic injury, b) is involved in cardioprotection after RPC, and c) leads to an activation of myocardial PKCε. RPC was achieved by brief mesenteric artery occlusion followed by reperfusion. Myocardial infarct size (IS) was measured by TTC staining after temporary coronary artery occlusion (CAO) in rats. CGRP plasma levels were determined by radioimmunoassay and PKCε was measured by quantitative immunoblotting. CGRP infusion reduced infarct size by 57%, an action that was abolished after co-treatment with the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine. RPC significantly increased CGRP plasma levels, reduced infarct size, and activated myocardial PKCε. Infarct size reduction was abolished and PKCε activation was significantly attenuated by CGRP8-37, a specific CGRP receptor antagonist. Ganglion blockade with hexamethonium did not influence CGRP release by RPC but abolished CGRP mediated myocardial PKCε activation. In conclusion, CGRP protects the heart from ischemic injury and is involved in RPC, presumably by activating myocardial PKCε.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)