Thomas, S. A., J. A. Fallavollita, T. C. Lee, J. Feng and J. M. Canty, Jr. Absence of troponin I degradation or altered sarcoplasmic reticulum uptake protein expression after reversible ischemia in swine. Circ Res. 85:446-56., 1999.

The findings of troponin I (TnI) proteolysis (in isolated rat hearts) and induction of selected sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) calcium- regulatory genes (after repetitive total coronary occlusions in swine) have given rise to the hypothesis that the time course of functional recovery of stunned myocardium reflects the resynthesis of reversibly damaged proteins. Although stunning occurs after brief total occlusions and prolonged partial occlusions (ie, short-term hibernation), the time course of functional recovery varies from a few hours to several days, suggesting that the severity of protein damage or mechanisms responsible for the dysfunction may differ. To study this, we examined SR gene expression and TnI degradation in stunned myocardium produced by 10-minute total left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) occlusions (n=4) or 1-hour partial LAD occlusions, in which flow was reduced to approximately 50% of control values for 60 minutes (n=6) in swine. One hour after reperfusion, LAD wall thickening was severely depressed in both models despite normal perfusion and no triphenyltetrazolium chloride evidence of necrosis. Normal myocardium exhibited TnI immunoreactivity at 31 kDa and a weak secondary band at 27 kDa. Irreversible injury or calpain activation in vitro produced a marked increase in the intensity of the 27-kDa band, consistent with TnI degradation. Stunned myocardium demonstrated no change in the 31- or the 27-kDa band, and the percentage of the 27- to 31-kDa band remained constant after 10-minute total occlusions (LAD, 5.9+/-0.9%; normal, 4.9+/-1.6%) and 1-hour partial occlusions (LAD, 8.5+/-1.9%; normal, 7.3+/-1.4%) and in sham controls (LAD, 10.9+/-1.5%; normal, 9.8+/-1.4%). Northern analysis showed no alterations in TnI or SR gene expression, but the stress protein HSP-70 was variably induced. Thus, stunned myocardium occurs without TnI degradation or altered SR gene expression, indicating that additional mechanisms are responsible for the reversible dysfunction after single episodes of regional ischemia in swine.