Sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels are abundantly expressed in the heart. Several groups have now identified a key role for these channels in mediating cardioprotection against ischemic injury and their participation in the protective mechanism of ischemic preconditioning. In the heart there several different subtypes of KATP channels and little is known about the roles during ischemia and reperfusion. Of particular interest are the KATP channel subtypes present in the coronary smooth muscle (SM) and coronary endothelial cells (EC). There is increasing focus on these coronary channels as a target for blood flow regulation and cardioprotection, yet they are relatively poorly understood. The SM and EC KATP channels are distinct from ventricular KATP channels and they are also distinct from each other. A major barrier to our understanding of their respective roles during a complex event such as myocardial ischemia is the lack of currently available resources specifically to study these two channel subtypes. We have generated novel genetic mouse models that can distinguish these subtypes of KATP channels and show with one of these that EC KATP channels strongly participate in myocardial protection during ischemia/reperfusion. The goal of the proposed studies is systematically to examine the role(s) of the EC and SM KATP channel subtypes in the regulation of coronary blood flow, protection during ischemia and the protective response to ischemic preconditioning. We hypothesize that both EC and SM KATP channel subtypes contribute to the regulation of coronary blood flow and cardioprotection, but through distinctly different mechanisms. Using novel and validated conditional knockout mice, we will specifically target EC or SM KATP channel subtypes. The proposed studies have three Aims.
In Aim 1, we will investigate the roles of these two coronary KATP channel subtypes in blood flow during ischemia. We will use isolated, pressurized microvessels and isolated, perfused hearts under normal, hypoxic and ischemic conditions. We will additionally investigate the role of EC and SM KATP channels in the myocardial ?no-reflow? phenomenon.
Aim 2 will investigate the roles of EC and SM KATP channels in myocardial protection using an in vivo murine I/R model and investigate pathways that regulate infarct development.
Aim 3 will investigate the contribution of EC and SM KATP channel subtypes during ischemic preconditioning using an in vivo murine I/R model and cellular assays. We will also examine trafficking of these KATP channel subtypes as a potential protective mechanism and investigate molecular signaling pathways involved. This multi-investigator proposal combines the expertise of three highly established investigators; Dr. Lefer?s extensive expertise with in vivo cardiac ischemia/reperfusion models, and Dr. Coetzee?s track record of studying KATP channels with electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular approaches and Dr. Tinker?s expertise in studying molecular signaling pathways in vascular KATP channels. The proposed studies will provide important molecular insights into the unique functions of coronary KATP channel subtypes under pathophysiological conditions.
Cardiac ventricular ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels have a well-recognized role in protection against ischemia/reperfusion injury. Other subtypes of KATP channels exist, but their roles in cardioprotection remain poorly understood due to a lack of tools that can discriminate between the various classes of KATP channels. We have developed novel conditional knockout mouse models that we will use to examine the contributions of endothelial cell and smooth muscle KATP channel subtypes in blood flow regulation, cardioprotection and ischemic preconditioning.