Activation of Akt/protein kinase B mediates the protective effects of mechanical stretching against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.J Vet Sci. 2012 Sep; 13(3):235-44.JV
Akt/protein kinase B is a well-known cell survival factor and activated by many stimuli including mechanical stretching. Therefore, we evaluated the cardioprotective effect of a brief mechanical stretching of rat hearts and determined whether activation of Akt through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase(PI3K) is involved in stretch-induced cardioprotection (SIC). Stretch preconditioning reduced infarct size and improved postischemic cardiac function compared to the control group. Phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream substrate, GSK-3β, was increased by mechanical stretching and completely blocked by wortmannin, a PI3K inhibitor. Treatment with lithium or SB216763 (GSK-3β inhibitors) before ischemia induction mimicked the protective effects of SIC on rat heart. Gadolinium (Gd3(+)), a blocker of stretch-activated ion channels (SACs), inhibited the stretch-induced phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β. Furthermore, SIC was abrogated by wortmannin and Gd3(+). In vivo stretching induced by an aorto-caval shunt increased Akt phosphorylation and reduced myocardial infarction; these effects were diminished by wortmannin and Gd3(+) pretreatment. Our results showed that mechanical stretching can provide cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. Additionally, the activation of Akt, which might be regulated by SACs and the PI3K pathway, plays an important role in SIC.