In vitro administration of ergothioneine failed to protect isolated ischaemic and reperfused rabbit heart

Anna Cargnoni, Palmira Bernocchi, Claudio Ceconi, Salvatore Curello, Roberto Ferrari

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Ergothioneine, a natural thiol-containing molecule, has recently been proposed to protect the heart against damage caused by ischaemia and reperfusion. We investigated the possibility that ergothioneine can have a role in maintaining the myocardial thiol/dissulfide balance and consequently also a protective effect against ischaemic and reperfusion injury. We used isolated Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts subjected to 45 min global and total ischaemia followed by 30 min reperfusion at baseline coronary flow (22 ml/min). Ergothioneine was delivered at 10-5 M and 10-4 M 60 min before ischaemia and during reperfusion. Myocardial damage was determined in terms of mechanical function, creatine kinase (CK) and lactate release, energy phosphate stores and the occurrence of oxidative stress. In our experimental conditions the treatment was unable to prevent myocardial damage. Ergothioneine, independently from the dosage used, failed to: (i) increase recovery of developed pressure upon reperfusion (14.4 ± 2.3 mmHg in control hearts vs. 10.3 ± 2.9 and 12.5 ± 2.3 mmHg in 10-5 M and 10-4 ergothioneine treated hearts, respectively); (ii) decrease the rise in diastolic pressure (44.3 ± 4.4 mmHg in control hearts vs. 49.8 ± 5.8 and 48.0 ± 7.7 mmHg in treated hearts); (iii) decrease the the release of CK and lactate; (iv) increase the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate (CP) in tissue upon reperfusion; (v) maintain ratio between oxidized and reduced forms of adenine nucleotide coenzyme, as index of aerobic metabolism; (vi) prevent the decline of reduced glutathione (GSH), or the accumulation of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) as an index of oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 1995


  • Ergothioneine
  • Ischaemia
  • Isolated heart
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biophysics


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