The loss of pacing-induced preconditioning in atherosclerotic rabbits: Role of hypercholesterolaemia

Zoltan Szilvassy, Peter Ferdinandy, Judith Szilvassy, Istvan Nagy, Sarolta Karcsu, Janos Lonovics, Laszlo Dux, Matyas Koltai

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88 Citations (Scopus)


A brief rapid pacing has been shown to protect rabbit heart against global myocardial ischaemia induced by subsequent longer pacing. We studied whether pacing-induced preconditioning was reproducible in experimental hypercholesterolaemia. In conscious rabbits with an implanted right ventricular electrode and left ventricular polyethylene catheters, pacing of 500 bpm over 20 min induced an intracavitary ST-segment elevation of 3.2 ± 0.41 mV, shortened ventricular effective refractory period and increased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure from prepacing 105 ± 3.9 ms and 4.0 ± 0.93 mmHg to post-pacing 62 ± 6.4 ms and 27.9 ± 7.2 mmHg, respectively. A 10-min preconditioning pacing followed by a 5-min interval markedly attenuated these test pacing-induced ischaemic changes. Rabbits were fed a cholesterol-enriched diet over 4, 8 and 12 weeks, responded to a 5- or 10-min pacing with ischaemic changes of the same degree as did controls to a 10- or 20-min pacing, respectively. A 4-week diet elevated total serum cholesterol from 1.7 ± 0.4 to 24.1 ± 2.9 mmol/l without apparent atherosclerotic lesions in the thoracic aorta assessed by Oil-Red O staining and planimetry, but it abolished protection induced by a 5-min preconditioning pacing. A 12-week diet increased serum cholesterol and lesion surface area to 26.9 ± 3.2 mmol/l and 89.6 ± 6.4%, respectively, and continued to block preconditioning. When these animals were refed normal chow over additional 6 weeks, serum cholesterol level dropped to 2.6 ± 0.80 mmol/l with no change in atherosclerotic lesions, the preconditioning effect, however, recovered. We conclude that hypercholesterolaemia blocks preconditioning irrespective of the development of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2559-2569
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypercholesterolaemia
  • Myocardial ischaemia
  • Preconditioning
  • Ventricular overdrive pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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