Inhibition of programmed necrosis limits infarct size through altered mitochondrial and immune responses in the aged female rat heart

Alexandra M. Garvin, Morgan A. Jackson, Donna H. Korzick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Both advancing age and estrogen loss exacerbate acute myocardial infarction in the female heart. However, the mechanistic underpinnings of age-related differences in cell death after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in female subjects and reductions in cardioprotective reserve capacity remain largely unexplored. The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy of programmed necrosis inhibition on infarct size reduction and preservation of left ventricular (LV) function after I/R injury with female aging. Fischer 344 rats were ovariectomized (OVX) at 15 mo and studied at 24 mo (MO OVX) versus adult rats with intact ovaries (6 mo). After in vivo coronary artery ligation (55-min ischemia and 2- or 6-h reperfusion), necrostatin-1 (Nec-1; 3.5 or 5.7 mg/kg) delivered upon reperfusion significantly reduced infarct size by 37% and improved LV function in the MO OVX group ( P < 0.01). Although age-associated elevations in cyclophilin D and mitochondrial acetylation ( P < 0.001) were unaffected by Nec-1, profound reductions in IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α ( P < 0.05) as well as cardiac immune cell infiltration were observed in MO OVX but not adult rats. We conclude that chronic inflammation and postmenopausal estrogen deficiency conspire to exacerbate acute infarction through a mechanism involving exaggerated mitochondria-mediated programmed necrosis through receptor-interacting protein 1 signaling. Modulatory effects of programmed necrosis inhibition on proinflammatory cytokine production after I/R reveal a potentially important mechanistic target to restore and preserve cardiac function in the OVX aged female heart. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Myocardial infarct size reduction by inhibition of programmed necrosis in aged female subjects suggests a dominant cell death pathway. Alterations in mitochondrial protein levels and acetylation underscore a mitochondria-dependent mechanism, whereas the profound cytokine reduction in aged subjects alone points to a divergent role for immune modulation of programmed necrosis and viable therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1434-H1442
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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