Effect of hydrogen-rich saline on cardiomyocyte autophagy during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion in aged rats

Objective: To investigate the effects of hydrogen-rich saline on cardiomyocyte autophagy during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion in aged rats. Methods: One hundred and fifty healthy male Sprague Dawley rats, 18 months old, weighing 400-540 g were selected. The rats were then randomly divided into 5 groups (n = 30): Normal control group (group I); Sham operation group (group II); Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion group (group III); Hydrogen-rich saline group (group IV); Normal saline group (group V). No any processing in group I. In group II, the anterior descending branch was only exposed but not ligated. Myocardial I/R was induced by occlusion of anterior descending branch of left coronary artery for 30 min followed by 12 h and 24 h of reperfusion with Bimbaum. Hydrogen-rich saline 1 ml/100 g were injected intraperitoneally 5 min before reperfusion in group IV. Normal saline 1 ml/100 g were injected intraperitoneally 5 min before reperfusion in group V. The rats were sacrificed at 12 h and 24 h of reperfusion and hearts were removed. The pathological changes of myocardial tissue were detected by HE staining. The rate of cardiomyocyte autophagy were detected by the MDC fluorescent dye and flow cytometry instrument. The expression of AMPK, mTOR, Beclin1, LC3 in myocardial tissue was investigated by Western blot. Result: Compared with groups I and II, the rate of cardiomyocyte autophagy, the expression of AMPK, mTOR, Beclin1, LC3 in myocardial tissue were significantly increased at 12 h, 24 h in groups III, IV and V (F = 23.45, 26.65, 25.58; F = 23.16, 25.15, 27.85; F = 21.04, 24.83, 27.43; F = 22.15, 25.79, 29.05; F = 22.58, 27.25, 28.46), P < 0.05. Compared with group III and V, the rate of cardiomyocyte autophagy, the expression of AMPK, mTOR, Beclin1, LC3 were significantly decreased at 12 h, 24 h in group IV (F = 21.29, 24.71; F = 22.37, 25.84; F = 20.48, 22.38; F = 21.76, 28.43; F = 22.54, 27.21), P < 0.05. Conclusion: Hydrogen-rich saline can attenuate myocardial reperfusion injury through inhibiting cardiomyocyte autophagy. The mechanism may be associated with decreasing the expression of AMPK, mTOR, Beclin1, LC3 in myocardial tissue.