Protective effect of ethyl pyruvate against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury through regulations of ROS-related NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Ji Hae Jun, Jae Kwang Shim, Ju Eun Oh, Eun Jung Shin, Eunah Shin, Young Lan Kwak

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging evidence indicates the pronounced role of inflammasome activation linked to reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the sterile inflammatory response triggered by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) is an antioxidant and conveys myocardial protection against I/R injury, while the exact mechanisms remain elusive. We aimed to investigate the effect of EP on myocardial I/R injury through mechanisms related to ROS and inflammasome regulation. The rats were randomly assigned to four groups: (1) sham, (2) I/R-control (IRC), (3) EP-pretreatment + I/R, and (4) I/R + EP-posttreatment. I/R was induced by a 30 min ligation of the left anterior descending artery followed by 4 h of reperfusion. EP (50 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally at 1 h before ischemia (pretreatment) or upon reperfusion (posttreatment). Both pre- and post-EP treatment resulted in significant reductions in myocardial infarct size (by 34% and 31%, respectively) and neutrophil infiltration. I/R-induced myocardial expressions of NADPH oxidase-4, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, and thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) were mitigated by EP. EP treatment was associated with diminished inflammasome activation (NOD-like receptor 3 (NLRP3), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein, and caspase-1) and interleukin-1β induced by I/R. I/R-induced phosphorylation of ERK and p38 were also mitigated with EP treatments. In H9c2 cells, hypoxia-induced TXNIP and NLRP3 expressions were inhibited by EP and to a lesser degree by U0126 (MEK inhibitor) and SB203580 (p38 inhibitor) as well. EP’s downstream protective mechanisms in myocardial I/R injury would include mitigation of ROS-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome upregulation and its associated pathways, partly via inhibition of hypoxia-induced phosphorylation of ERK and p38.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4264580
JournalOxidative medicine and cellular longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2015-0036).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology

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