The present study investigated whether heat stress-induced cardioprotection involves alterations in the pattern of p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and c-Jun NH2 – terminal kinase (JNK) activation during ischaemia – reperfusion in a model of isolated perfused rat heart. Wistar rats were subjected to whole-body hyperthermia at 42 °C for 15 min (HS), while untreated animals served as controls (CON). Twenty four hours later, CON and HS isolated hearts were perfused in a Langendorff mode and subjected to 20 min of zero-.ow global ischaemia followed by 45 min of reperfusion. Postischaemic recovery of left ventricular developed pressure at 45 min of reperfusion was expressed as % of the initial value (LVDP%). Activation of p38 MAPK and JNK was assessed by standard Western blotting techniques using a dual phospho-p38 MAPK and phospho-p46 JNK and p54 JNK antibodies. The levels of phospho-p38 MAPK at the end of reperfusion were not different in HS as compared to CON hearts. The levels of phospho-p46 JNK and p54 JNK were 1.4- and 1.6-fold less in HS than in CON hearts respectively, p < 0.05. LVDP% was 60.3 (s.e.m., 6.3) for HS and 42.9 (4.1) for CON, p < 0.05. In summary, heat stress pretreatment improves postischaemic recovery of function in isolated rat hearts and this is associated with suppressed JNK activation in response to ischaemia-reperfusion.
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