Thaliporphine protects ischemic and ischemic-reperfused rat hearts via an NO-dependent mechanism

Li Man Hung, Shoei Sheng Lee, Jan Kan Chen, Shiang Suo Huang, Ming Jai Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations


In ischemia or ischemia-reperfusion (I/R), nitric oxide (NO) can potentially exert several beneficial effects. Thaliporphine, a natural alkaloid with Ca2+ channel-activating and Na+/K+ channel-blocking activities, increased NO levels and exerted cardioprotective action in ischemic or I/R rats. The role of NO in the cardioprotective actions of thaliporphine was assessed. The severity of rhythm disturbances and mortality in anesthetized rats with either coronary artery occlusion for 30 min, or 5 min followed by 30-min reperfusion, were monitored and compared in thaliporphine- vs. placebo-treated groups. Thaliporphine treatment significantly increased NO and decreased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in the blood during the end period of ischemia or I/R. These changes in NO and LDH levels by thaliporphine were associated with a reduction in the incidence and duration of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) during ischemic or I/R period. The mortality of animals was also completely prevented by 1 × 10-8 moles/kg of thaliporphine. In animals subjected to 4 h of left coronary artery occlusion, 1 × 10-7 moles/kg of thaliporphine dramatic reduced cardiac infarct zone from 46 ± 6% to 7.1 ± 1.9%. Inhibition of NO synthesis with 3.7 × 10-6 moles/kg of Nω -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) abolished the beneficial effects of thaliporphine during 30 min or 4 h myocardial ischemia. However, the antiarrhythmic activity and mortality reduction efficacy of thaliporphine during reperfusion after 5 min of ischemia was only partially antagonized by L-NAME. These results showed that thaliporphine efficiently exerted the cardioprotections either in acute or prolonged coronary artery occlusion or occlusion-reperfusion situations. The fact that thaliporphine induced cardioprotective effects were abrogated by L-NAME indicates that NO is an important mediator for the cardioprotective effects of thaliporphine in acute or prolonged ischemia, whereas antioxidant activities may contribute to the protection of I/R injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-453
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Development Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Arrhythmias
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Nitric oxide
  • Thaliporphine


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