The voltage-gated KV7 (KCNQ) potassium channels are activated by ischemia and involved in hypoxic vasodilatation. We investigated the effect of KV7 channel modulation on cardiac ischemia and reperfusion injury and its interaction with cardioprotection by ischemic preconditioning (IPC). Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed expression of KV7.1, KV7.4, and KV7.5 in the left anterior descending rat coronary artery and all KV7 subtypes (KV7.1–KV7.5) in the left and right ventricles of the heart. Isolated hearts were subjected to no-flow global ischemia and reperfusion with and without IPC. Infarct size was quantified by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Two blockers of KV7 channels, XE991 [10,10-bis(4-pyridinylmethyl)-9(10H)-anthracenone] (10 µM) and linopirdine (10 µM), reduced infarct size and exerted additive infarct reduction to IPC. An opener of KV7 channels, flupirtine (10 µM) abolished infarct size reduction by IPC. Hemodynamics were measured using a catheter inserted in the left ventricle and postischemic left ventricular recovery improved in accordance with reduction of infarct size and deteriorated with increased infarct size. XE991 (10 µM) reduced coronary flow in the reperfusion phase and inhibited vasodilatation in isolated small branches of the left anterior descending coronary artery during both simulated ischemia and reoxygenation. KV7 channels are expressed in rat coronary arteries and myocardium. Inhibition of KV7 channels exerts cardioprotection and opening of KV7 channels abrogates cardioprotection by IPC. Although safety issues should be further addressed, our findings suggest a potential role for KV7 blockers in the treatment of ischemia-reperfusion injury.
- Received November 16, 2015.
- Accepted February 5, 2016.
↵* E.R.H. and J.J. contributed equally to this work and are co-first authors.
The research was supported by the Danish Heart Foundation, the Helga and Peter Kornings Foundation, the Karen Elise Jensens Foundation, the Fondation Leducq [Grant 06CVD], the Danish Research Council for Strategic Research [Grant 11-115818], and the Danish Research Council [Grant 11-108354].
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics