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AIMS: Ischaemia-reperfusion (IR) injury causes endothelium-dependent vasomotor dysfunction that can be prevented by ischaemic preconditioning. The effects of IR injury and preconditioning on endothelium-dependent tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) release, an important mediator of endogenous fibrinolysis, remain unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: Ischaemia-reperfusion injury (limb occlusion at 200 mmHg for 20 min) was induced in 22 healthy subjects. In 12 subjects, IR injury was preceded by local or remote ischaemic preconditioning (three 5 min episodes of ipsilateral or contralateral limb occlusion, respectively) or sham in a randomized, cross-over trial. Forearm blood flow (FBF) and endothelial t-PA release were assessed using venous occlusion plethysmography and venous blood sampling during intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine (5-20 µg/min) or substance P (2-8 pmol/min). Acetylcholine and substance P caused dose-dependent increases in FBF (P<0.05 for all). Substance P caused a dose-dependent increase in t-PA release (P<0.05 for all). Acetylcholine and substanceP-mediated vasodilatation and substanceP-mediated t-PA release were impaired following IR injury (P<0.05 for all). Neither local nor remote ischaemic preconditioning protected against the impairment of substance P-mediated vasodilatation or t-PA release. CONCLUSION: Ischaemia-reperfusion injury induced substanceP-mediated, endothelium-dependent vasomotor and fibrinolytic dysfunction in man that could not be prevented by ischaemic preconditioning. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Reference number: NCT00789243, URL:

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J

Publication Date





1920 - 1927


Acetylcholine, Analysis of Variance, Blood Pressure, Constriction, Cross-Over Studies, Fibrinolysis, Forearm, Humans, Ischemic Preconditioning, Male, Neurotransmitter Agents, Reperfusion Injury, Substance P, Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Vasodilation, Vasodilator Agents, Young Adult