The present study investigated the response of the hypothyroid heart to ischaemia-reperfusion. Hypothyroidism was induced in Wistar rats by oral administration of propylthiouracil (0.05%) for 3 weeks (HYPO rats), while normal animals (NORM) served as controls. Isolated hearts from NORM and HYPO animals were perfused in Langendorff mode and subjected to zero-flow global ischaemia followed by reperfusion (I/R). Post-ischaemic recovery of left ventricular developed pressure was expressed as % of the initial value (LVDP%). Basal expression of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCepsilon) and PKCdelta and phosphorylation of p46 and p54 c-jun NH(2)-terminal kinases (JNKs) in response to I/R were assessed by Western blotting. LVDP% was found to be significantly higher in HYPO hearts than in NORM. At baseline, PKCepsilon expression was 1.4-fold more in HYPO than in NORM hearts, P<0.05, while PKCdelta was not changed. Furthermore, basal phospho-p54 and -p46 JNK levels were 2.2- and 2.6-fold more in HYPO than in NORM hearts, P<0.05. In response to I/R, in NORM hearts, phospho-p54 and -p46 JNK levels were 5.5- and 6.0-fold more as compared with the baseline values, P<0.05, while they were not significantly altered in HYPO hearts. HYPO hearts seem to display a phenotype of cardioprotection against ischaemia-reperfusion and this is associated with basal PKCepsilon overexpression and attenuated JNK activation after I/R.
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