The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation vol:10 issue:3 pages:387-93
Dog hearts were harvested and stored cold (0.5 degree C) for 24-hours. Cardiac arrest was induced by means of low-sodium and calcium-free cardioplegic (n = 6) or hyperkalemic cardioplegic (n = 6) solution. Nifedipine (2 micrograms/gm estimated heart weight) was added to each cardioplegic solution in two additional groups (n = 6 each). High energy phosphates (creatine phosphate and adenosine triphosphate) and catabolites (adenosine diphosphate and monophosphate, adenosine, inosine, hypoxanthine, xanthine) were determined in the myocardium before and during 24 hours of cold storage. With use of the standard hyperkalemic cardioplegic solution, breakdown of high energy phosphates was less pronounced than after the use of a low sodium, calcium-free solution: after 24 hours of cold storage myocardial ATP content was 57% of control versus 32% (p less than 0.05). The addition of nifedipine to the hyperkalemic cardioplegic solution delayed ATP breakdown during the first hours of cold storage: at 5 hours of preservation the myocardial ATP level was significantly higher (p less than 0.05) than in hearts preserved without nifedipine. Addition of nifedipine to the low-sodium, calcium-free solution did not influence catabolism of high energy phosphates significantly. It is concluded that preservation of high energy phosphates during long-term cold storage of donor hearts can be best achieved by simultaneous myocardial metabolic blockade at two specific sites: at the "fast" sodium-potassium channels by hyperkalemic depolarization and at the "slow" channels by means of calcium channel blockers.