The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of maturation and gender on the anti-arrhythmic effect of myocardial ischaemic preconditioning in rats. Coronary artery occlusion was carried out in either rats anaesthetised with sodium pentobarbitone or in rat isolated hearts. Cardiac arrhythmias occurring in the 30 min post-occlusion period were assessed. In anaesthetised 3 month (m) old male rats ischaemic preconditioning, with a 3 min temporary coronary artery occlusion, significantly reduced the total number of ventricular ectopic beats (VEBs) from 2074 ± 206 to 490 ± 139 and the incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) from 40 to 0% during a subsequent 30 min occlusion (P < 0.05). In middle-aged male rats (16 m) the anti-arrhythmic effect of preconditioning was unaltered (VEBs were reduced from 1958 ± 121 to 245 ± 66 and VF from 70 to 0%). In 3 m old anaesthetised female rats the effect of ischaemic preconditioning was also evident (VEBs reduced from 961 ± 170 to 154 ± 48; P < 0.05). In non-preconditioned age-matched female animals the total number of VEBs (961 ± 170), VF (0%) and mortality (0%) were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than in respective male animals. In female rats, attenuation of ischaemia-induced arrhythmic severity was most pronounced in the oestrus state. In hearts isolated from weight-matched male and female rats the incidence of ventricular tachycardia (81 vs 25%) and the total number of VEBs (351 ± 73 vs 81 ± 50) were significantly (P < 0.05) different. It is concluded that in rats neither maturation nor gender influence the anti-arrhythmic effect of ischaemic preconditioning. However, female rats exhibit a lower level of arrhythmic activity during sustained coronary artery occlusion than male rats both in vivo and in vitro.
- Ischaemic preconditioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)