Improved cardiac performance after ischemia in aged rats supplemented with vitamin E and α-lipoic acid

Jeff S. Coombes, Scott K. Powers, Karyn L. Hamilton, Haydar A. Demirel, R. Andrew Shanely, Murat A. Zergeroglu, Chandan K. Sen, Lester Packer, Li Li Ji

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The purpose of these experiments was to examine the effects of dietary antioxidant supplementation with vitamin E (VE) and α-lipoic acid (α-LA) on biochemical and physiological responses to in vivo myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) in aged rats. Male Fischer-334 rats (18 mo old) were assigned to either 1) a control diet (CON) or2) a VE and α-LA supplemented diet (ANTIOX). After a 14-wk feeding period, animals in each group underwent an in vivo I-R protocol (25 min of myocardial ischemia and 15 min of reperfusion). During reperfusion, peak arterial pressure was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in ANTIOX animals compared with CON diet animals. I-R resulted in a significant increase (P < 0.05) in myocardial lipid peroxidation in CON diet animals but not in ANTIOX animals. Compared with ANTIOX animals, heart homogenates from CON animals experienced significantly less (P < 0.05) oxidative damage when exposed to five different in vitro radical producing systems. These data indicate that dietary supplementation with VE and α-LA protects the aged rat heart from I-R-induced lipid peroxidation by scavenging numerous reactive oxygen species. Importantly, this protection is associated with improved cardiac performance during reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R2149-R2155
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 48-6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Free radicals
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Myocardial performance


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