The role of substance P in myocardial dysfunction during ischemia and reperfusion

Hsi Chiao, Robert W. Caldwell

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24 Scopus citations


Impairment of myocardial contraction ('myocardial stunning') occurs during reperfusion after short ischemic periods. Substance P (SP) is widely distributed in heart and can be released by various stimuli including myocardial hypoxia. Our previous study shows SP has a negative inotropic effect in guinea pig heart. The objective of this study was to investigate whether SP contributes to the myocardial stunning after brief global ischemia. Guinea pig hearts in a Langendorff preparation were subjected to 15 min of global ischemia followed by 60 min reperfusion. Experiments were performed without and with pretreatment with neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonists, spantide (10-6 M) or CP-99,994-01 (10-6 M) in order to study the role of SP. Experiments were also performed in hearts which were perfused with atropine, phentolamine, and nadolol (10-6 M each) to examine the role of neurotransmitters and autonomic receptors. A group of hearts obtained from capsaicin-pretreated guinea pigs was also investigated. Left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), heart rate, and perfusion pressure were monitored. At the end of reperfusion, the LVDP of control hearts recovered to only 55 ± 6% (± SEM) of preischemic baseline and the LVEDP increased significantly (P > 0.05). With pretreatment with spantide or CP-99,994-01, LVDP recovered to 88 ± 2% or 78 ± 2% of the preischemic baseline, respectively. The LVEDP of these hearts was not different from preischemic baseline and much smaller than in control hearts. There were no differences in heart rate and perfusion pressure compared to baseline among all groups. Similar results were obtained in hearts perfused with autonomic blockers. However, recoveries of LVDP and LVEDP were faster in hearts perfused with autonomic blockers during the first 10 min of reperfusion. Pretreatment with capsaicin also significantly improved recovery of LVDP and LVEDP. In conclusion, substance P is involved in postischemic myocardial dysfunction and neurokinin-l receptors mediate this action. The NK1 receptor antagonists may be useful in prevention of 'myocardial stunning'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-407
Number of pages8
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 9 1996


  • Ischemia reperfusion
  • Myocardial stunning
  • Substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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