Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) protects against sustained myocardial ischemia. Because of overlapping mechanisms, this protection may be altered by glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), which is commonly used in the treatment of patients with chronic ischemic heart disease. We investigated whether long-term GTN treatment modifies the protection by RIC in the rat myocardium and human endothelium. We studied infarct size (IS) in rat hearts subjected to global ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) in vitro and endothelial function in healthy volunteers subjected to I/R of the upper arm. In addition to allocated treatment, rats were coadministered with reactive oxygen species (ROS) or nitric oxide (NO) scavengers. Rats and humans were randomized to 1) control, 2) RIC, 3) GTN, and 4) GTN + RIC. In protocols 3 and 4, rats and humans underwent long-term GTN treatment for 7 consecutive days, applied subcutaneously or 2 h daily transdermally. In rats, RIC and long-term GTN treatment reduced mean IS (18 ± 12%, P = 0.007 and 15 ± 5%, P = 0.002) compared with control (35 ± 13%). RIC and long-term GTN treatment in combination did not reduce IS (29 ± 12%, P = 0.55 vs. control). ROS and NO scavengers both attenuated IS reduction by RIC and long-term GTN treatment. In humans, I/R reduced endothelial function ( P = 0.01 vs. baseline). Separately, RIC and long-term GTN prevented the reduction in endothelial function caused by I/R; given in combination, prevention was lost. RIC and long-term GTN treatment both protect against rat myocardial and human endothelial I/R injury through ROS and NO-dependent mechanisms. However, when given in combination, RIC and long-term GTN treatment fail to confer protection. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) and long-term glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) treatment protect against ischemia-reperfusion injury in both human endothelium and rat myocardium. However, combined application of RIC and long-term GTN treatment abolishes the individual protective effects of RIC and GTN treatment on ischemia-reperfusion injury, suggesting an interaction of clinical importance.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

Publication Date





H150 - H158


cardioprotection, endothelial function, glyceryl trinitrate, ischemic preconditioning, myocardial infarction, remote ischemic conditioning