A link between the cardioprotective benefits of pharmacological preconditioning and natural mammalian hibernation is considered to involve the cellular activation of opioid receptors and subsequent opening of K ATP channels. In previous studies, we have demonstrated the protective effects of specific δ-opioid agonists against porcine cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury. We hypothesize here that preincubation with hibernation induction trigger (HIT) should confer a similar protection in skeletal muscles. Therefore, muscle bundles from swine were pretreated with plasma from hibernating woodchucks (HWP) for 30 min, then exposed to hypoxia for 90 min and reoxygenation for 120 min. Stimulated twitch forces were assessed. The functional effects of pretreatment with nonhibernation (summer) woodchuck plasma, a K ATP blocker, or opioid antagonist were also studied. During the reoxygenation period, significantly greater force recoveries were observed only for bundles pretreated with HWP; this response was blocked by naloxone (P < 0.05). We conclude that HIT pretreatment could be used to confer protection against hypoxia/reperfusion injury of skeletal muscles of nonhibernators; it could potentially be utilized to prevent injury during surgical procedures requiring ischemia.
- Hibernation induction trigger
- Isometric twitch force
- Muscle hypoxia
- Opioid blockers
- Reperfusion injury