Ooiwa, H., T. Miura, T. Iwamoto, T. Ogawa, R. Ishimoto, T. Adachi and O. Iimura. Superoxide dismutase attenuated post-ischaemic contractile dysfunction in a myocardial xanthine oxidase deficient species. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 19:119-25., 1992.

1. We assessed the effect of polyethylene glycol conjugated superoxide dismutase (PEG-SOD) on myocardial stunning in the rabbit heart in which xanthine oxidase level is extremely low. 2. In open-chest anaesthetized rabbits, the left marginal branch of the coronary artery was occluded for 10 min and then reperfused for 30 min. A group of rabbits (PEG-SOD group) received 1000 units/kg of PED-SOD and another group (control group) was given saline 15 min before the coronary occlusion. 3. Regional systolic thickening fraction (TF) was similarly reduced to approximately -25% of baseline value during ischaemia in both groups. However recovery of TF after reperfusion was significantly better in the PEG-SOD group (n = 9) and TF at 30 min after reperfusion was 70.1 +/- 3.9% of baseline value compared with 44.9 +/- 3.4% in the control group (n = 9; P less than 0.05). Rate-pressure products, left ventricular pressure, and LV dP/dt max were not significantly different between the PEG-SOD treated and untreated control rabbits at any time during the experiment. PEG-SOD did not modify the regional myocardial blood flow (coloured microsphere method) during ischaemia/reperfusion, which was assessed by using separate groups of rabbits. 4. These findings indicate that oxygen free radicals are important in the pathogenesis of myocardial stunning in xanthine oxidase deficient hearts.