A Model of Hypoxia-Reoxygenation on Isolated Adult Mouse Cardiomyocytes: Characterization, Comparison With Ischemia-Reperfusion, and Application to the Cardioprotective Effect of Regular Treadmill Exercise

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The use of in vitro experimental models of hypo×ia-reo×ygenation (H/R) that mimic in vivo ischemia-reperfusion represents a powerful tool to investigate cardioprotective strategies against myocardial infarction. Most in vitro studies are performed using neonatal cardiac cells or immortalized embryonic cardiac cell lines which may limit the extrapolation of the results. We developed an H/R model using adult cardiomyocytes freshly isolated from mice and compared its characteristics to the in vivo ischemia-reperfusion conditions. First, cell death was assessed at different values of pH medium during hypoxia (6.2 vs 7.4) to simulate extracellular pH during in vivo ischemia. Cardiomyocyte mortality was aggravated with hypoxia under acidic pH. We next evaluated the relationship between the duration of hypoxia and cell death. Hypoxia time-dependently reduced myocyte viability (—24%, —36%, —53%, and —74% with 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 hours of hypoxia followed by 17 hours of reoxygenation, respectively). We then focused on the duration of reoxygenation as cardioprotective strategies have been reported to have different effects with short and long durations of reperfusion. We observed that cardiomyocyte mortality was increased when the duration of reox-ygenation was increased from 2 h to 17 hours. Finally, we used our characterized model to investigate the cardioprotective effect of regular treadmill exercise. Myocyte viability was significantly greater in exercised when compared to sedentary mice (44% and 26%, respectively). Similarly, mice submitted to in vivo ischemia-reperfusion elicited infarct sizes reaching 27%, 43%, and 55% with 20, 30, and 45 minutes of coronary artery occlusion. In addition, infarct size was significantly reduced by exercise. In conclusion, this H/R model of cardiomyocytes freshly isolated from adult mice shows similar characteristics to the in vivo ischemia-reperfusion conditions. The comparison of in vivo and in vitro settings represents a powerful approach to investigate cardiopro-tective strategies and to distinguish between direct and indirect cardiomyocyte-dependent mechanisms.

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