Protective effect of ethyl pyruvate against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury through regulations of ROS-related NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Ji Hae Jun, Jae Kwang Shim, Ju Eun Oh, Eun Jung Shin, Eunah Shin, Young Lan Kwak

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging evidence indicates the pronounced role of inflammasome activation linked to reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the sterile inflammatory response triggered by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) is an antioxidant and conveys myocardial protection against I/R injury, while the exact mechanisms remain elusive. We aimed to investigate the effect of EP on myocardial I/R injury through mechanisms related to ROS and inflammasome regulation. The rats were randomly assigned to four groups: (1) sham, (2) I/R-control (IRC), (3) EP-pretreatment + I/R, and (4) I/R + EP-posttreatment. I/R was induced by a 30 min ligation of the left anterior descending artery followed by 4 h of reperfusion. EP (50 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally at 1 h before ischemia (pretreatment) or upon reperfusion (posttreatment). Both pre- and post-EP treatment resulted in significant reductions in myocardial infarct size (by 34% and 31%, respectively) and neutrophil infiltration. I/R-induced myocardial expressions of NADPH oxidase-4, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, and thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) were mitigated by EP. EP treatment was associated with diminished inflammasome activation (NOD-like receptor 3 (NLRP3), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein, and caspase-1) and interleukin-1β induced by I/R. I/R-induced phosphorylation of ERK and p38 were also mitigated with EP treatments. In H9c2 cells, hypoxia-induced TXNIP and NLRP3 expressions were inhibited by EP and to a lesser degree by U0126 (MEK inhibitor) and SB203580 (p38 inhibitor) as well. EP’s downstream protective mechanisms in myocardial I/R injury would include mitigation of ROS-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome upregulation and its associated pathways, partly via inhibition of hypoxia-induced phosphorylation of ERK and p38.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4264580
JournalOxidative medicine and cellular longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Ji Hae Jun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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