K-ATP channels mediate the beneficial effects of chronic ethanol ingestion AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Pagel, P. S., Toller, W. G., Gross, E. R., Gare, M., Kersten, J. R., Warltier, D. C. 2000; 279 (5): H2574-H2579


Chronic ingestion of low doses of ethanol protects the myocardium from ischemic injury by activating adenosine receptors and protein kinase C. We tested the hypothesis that ATP-dependent potassium (K(ATP)) channels mediate these beneficial effects. Dogs were fed with ethanol (1.5 g/kg) or water mixed with dry food twice per day for 12 wk. After they were acutely instrumented for measurement of hemodynamics, dogs received saline (vehicle) or glyburide (0.1 mg/kg iv) and were subjected to 60 min of coronary artery occlusion followed by 3 h of reperfusion. Infarct size (through triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining) was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced to 14 +/- 1% of the left ventricular area at risk in ethanol-pretreated dogs compared with controls (25 +/- 2%). Glyburide alone did not affect infarct size (25 +/- 3%) but abolished the protective effects of ethanol pretreatment (28 +/- 3%). No differences in hemodynamics or coronary collateral blood flow (through radioactive microspheres) were observed among groups. The results indicate that K(ATP) channels mediate the protective effects of chronic consumption of ethanol.

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