Morphine preconditioning confers cardioprotection in doxorubicin-induced failing rat hearts via ERK/GSK-3β pathway independent of PI3K/Akt.Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015 Nov 01; 288(3):349-58.TA
Preconditioning against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury can be suppressed in some pathological conditions. This study was designed to investigate whether morphine preconditioning (MPC) exerts cardioprotection in doxorubicin (DOX)-induced heart failure in rats and the mechanisms involved. Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β pathways were examined. Normal and DOX-induced failing rat hearts were subjected to I/R injury using a Langendorff perfusion system with or without MPC or ischemic preconditioning (IPC). The PI3K inhibitor (wortmannin) or ERK inhibitor (PD98059) was infused before MPC. In normal hearts, both MPC and IPC significantly reduced infarct size and the rise in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level caused by I/R injury. Pretreatment with wortmannin or PD98059 abrogated the protective effects of MPC and suppressed the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK and GSK-3β. In failing rat hearts, however, MPC retained its cardioprotection while IPC did not. This protective effect was abolished by PD98059 but not wortmannin. MPC increased the level of p-ERK rather than p-Akt. The phosphorylation of GSK-3β induced by MPC was reversed by PD98059 only. IPC did not elevate the expression of p-ERK, p-Akt and p-GSK-3β in failing rat hearts. We conclude that MPC is cardioprotective in rats with DOX-induced heart failure while IPC is not. The effect of MPC appears to be mediated via the ERK/GSK-3β pathway independent of PI3K/Akt.