Remifentanil protects myocardium through activation of anti-apoptotic pathways of survival in ischemia-reperfused rat heart

H. S. Kim, J. E. Cho, S. W. Hong, S. O. Kim, J. K. Shim, Y. L. Kwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Remifentanil is a commonly used opioid in anesthesia with cardioprotective effect in ischemia-reperfused (I/R) heart. We evaluated the influence of remifentanil on myocardial infarct size and expressions of proteins involved in apoptosis in I/R rat heart following various time protocols of remifentanil administration. Artificially ventilated anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a 30 min of left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion followed by 2 h of reperfusion. Rats were randomly assigned to one of five groups; Sham, I/R only, remifentanil preconditioning, postconditioning and continuous infusion group. Myocardial infarct size, the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Bcl2, Bax and cytochrome c and the expression of genes influencing Ca2+ homeostasis were assessed. In remifentanil-administered rat hearts, regardless of the timing and duration of administration, infarct size was consistently reduced compared to I/R only rats. Remifentanil improved expression of ERK 1/2 and anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2, and expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum genes which were significantly reduced in the I/R rats only. Remifentanil reduced expression of pro-apoptotic protein, Bax and cytochrome c. These suggested that remifentanil produced cardioprotective effect by preserving the expression of proteins involved in anti-apoptotic pathways, and the expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum genes in I/R rat heart, regardless of the timing of administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-apoptosis
  • Cardioprotection
  • Ischemia/reperfusion injury
  • Remifentanil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Remifentanil protects myocardium through activation of anti-apoptotic pathways of survival in ischemia-reperfused rat heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this