Metabolic effects of aldose reductase inhibition during low-flow ischemia and reperfusion

Ravichandran Ramasamy, Nathan Trueblood, Saul Schaefer

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71 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown that maintenance of glycolysis limits the metabolic and functional consequences of low-flow ischemia. Because diabetic animals are known to have impaired glycolytic metabolism coupled with increased flux through the aldose reductase (AR) pathway, we hypothesized that inhibition of AR would enhance glycolysis and thereby improve metabolic and functional recovery during low-flow ischemia. Hearts (n = 12) from nondiabetic control and diabetic rats were isolated and retrograde perfused using 11 mM glucose with or without the AR inhibitor zopolrestat (1 μM). Hearts were subjected to 30 min of low-flow ischemia (10% of baseline flow) and 30 min of reperfusion. 31P NMR spectroscopy was used to monitor time-dependent changes in phosphocreatine (PCr), ATP, and intracellular pH. Changes in the cytosolic redox ratio of NADH to NAD+ were obtained by measuring the ratio of tissue lactate to pyruvate. Effluent lactate concentrations and oxygen consumption were determined from the perfusate. AR inhibition improved functional recovery in both control and diabetic hearts, coupled with a lower cytosolic redox state and greater effluent lactate concentrations during ischemia. ATP levels during ischemia were significantly higher in AR-inhibited hearts, as was recovery of PCr. In diabetic hearts, AR inhibition also limited acidosis during ischemia and normalized pH recovery on reperfusion. These data demonstrate that AR inhibition maintains higher levels of high-energy phosphates and improves functional recovery upon reperfusion in hearts subjected to low-flow ischemia, consistent with an increase in glycolysis. Accordingly, this approach of inhibiting AR offers a novel method for protecting ischemic myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Diabetes
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Zopolrestat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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