Differential effects of NADPH oxidase and xanthine oxidase inhibition on sympathetic reinnervation in postinfarct rat hearts

Tsung-Ming Lee, Chien Chang Chen, Yu Jung Hsu

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Superoxide has been shown to play a major role in ventricular remodeling and arrhythmias after myocardial infarction. However, the source of increased myocardial superoxide production and the role of superoxide in sympathetic innervation remain to be further characterized. Male Wistar rats, after coronary artery ligation, were randomized to vehicle, allopurinol, or apocynin for 4 weeks. To determine the role of peroxynitrite in sympathetic reinnervation, we also used 3-morpholinosydnonimine (a peroxynitrite generator). The postinfarction period was associated with increased oxidative stress, as measured by myocardial superoxide, nitrotyrosine, xanthine oxidase activity, NADPH oxidase activity, and dihydroethidium fluorescent staining. Measurement of myocardial norepinephrine levels revealed a significant elevation in vehicle-treated infarcted rats compared with sham. Sympathetic hyperinnervation was blunted after administration of allopurinol. Arrhythmic scores in the allopurinol-treated infarcted rats were significantly lower than those in vehicle. For similar levels of ventricular remodeling, apocynin had no beneficial effects on oxidative stress, sympathetic hyperinnervation, or arrhythmia vulnerability. Allopurinol-treated hearts had significantly decreased nerve growth factor expression, which was substantially increased after coadministration of 3-morpholinosydnonimine. These results indicate that xanthine oxidase but not NADPH oxidase largely mediates superoxide production after myocardial infarction. Xanthine oxidase inhibition ameliorates sympathetic innervation and arrhythmias possibly via inhibition of the peroxynitrite- mediated nerve growth factor pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1470
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Free radicals
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Superoxide
  • Sympathetic reinnervation
  • Xanthine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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