Superoxide dismutase reduces reperfusion arrhythmias but fails to salvage regional function or myocardium at risk in conscious dogs

J. Nejima, D. R. Knight, J. T. Fallon, N. Uemura, T. Manders, D. R. Canfield, M. V. Cohen, S. F. Vatner

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129 Scopus citations


To determine if oxygen free radical scavengers administered before coronary artery reperfusion can limit reperfusion arrhythmias, increase the return of regional function in ischemic myocardium, and reduce tissue necrosis at 1 week after 90-minute coronary artery occlusion and reperfusion, conscious dogs were treated with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase before and for 1 hour after coronary artery reperfusion. Another group was treated with recombinant SOD (rSOD) because the commercially available SOD and catalase contained endotoxin. The conscious dogs were studied 3-4 weeks after implanting left ventricular pressure gauges, ultrasonic wall thickness gauges in the posterior left ventricular wall, left atrial catheters, and arterial catheters, Doppler flow transducers, and hydraulic occluders on the left circumflex coronary artery. The only beneficial effect observed was that the number of arrhythmic beats per minute in the rSOD-treated group was significantly lower (p<0.05) when compared with a control group after coronary artery reperfusion. Treatment neither increased the amount of recovery of wall thickening in the ischemic zone nor reduced infarct size when expressed either as a percentage of the area at risk or as a function of collateral blood flow in the ischemic zone. For example, infarct sizes as a percentage of the area at risk was 32.6±5.8%, 37.4±6.4%, 28.3±5.1% in the control, SOD and catalase-, and rSOD-treated groups, respectively. Thus, although treatment with oxygen free radical scavengers invoked a transient reduction in the number of reperfusion arrhythmias, this treatment in conscious dogs failed to improve regional myocardial dysfunction or reduce the amount of necrosis when compared with a control group. The lack of a sustained salutary effect may indicate that longer periods of treatment with free radical scavengers are required in chronic preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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