Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is causally related to increased morbidity and mortality following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) via still unknown mechanisms. Although rapamycin exerts cardioprotective effects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury in normal animals, whether rapamycin-elicited cardioprotection is altered in the presence of LVH has yet to be determined. Pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophied mice and sham-operated controls were exposed to AMI by coronary artery ligation, and treated with vehicle or rapamycin 10 min before reperfusion. Rapamycin produced marked cardioprotection in normal control mice, whereas pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophied mice manifested enhanced myocardial injury, and was refractory to rapamycin-elicited cardioprotection evidenced by augmented infarct size, aggravated cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and worsening cardiac function. Rapamycin alleviated MI/R injury via ERK-dependent antioxidative pathways in normal mice, whereas cardiac hypertrophied mice manifested markedly exacerbated oxidative/nitrative stress after MI/R evidenced by the increased iNOS/gp91phox expression, superoxide production, total NO metabolites, and nitrotyrosine content. Moreover, scavenging superoxide or peroxynitrite by selective gp91phox assembly inhibitor gp91ds-tat or ONOO scavenger EUK134 markedly ameliorated MI/R injury, as shown by reduced myocardial oxidative/nitrative stress, alleviated myocardial infarction, hindered cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and improved cardiac function in aortic-banded mice. However, no additional cardioprotective effects were achieved when we combined rapamycin and gp91ds-tat or EUK134 in ischemic/reperfused hearts with or without LVH. These results suggest that cardiac hypertrophy attenuated rapamycin-induced cardioprotection by increasing oxidative/nitrative stress and scavenging superoxide/peroxynitrite protects the hypertrophied heart from MI/R.

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