Ischemia-induced up-regulation of heme oxygenase-1 protects from apoptotic cell death and tissue necrosis

Harder, Yves; Amon, Michaela; Schramm, René; Rücker, Martin; Scheuer, Claudia; Pittet, Brigitte; Erni, Dominique; Menger, Michael D (2008). Ischemia-induced up-regulation of heme oxygenase-1 protects from apoptotic cell death and tissue necrosis. Journal of surgical research, 150(2), pp. 293-303. New York, N.Y.: Elsevier 10.1016/j.jss.2007.12.773

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

BACKGROUND: Tissues are endowed with protective mechanisms to counteract chronic ischemia. Previous studies have demonstrated that endogenous heme oxygenase (HO)-1 may protect parenchymal tissue from inflammation- and reoxygenation-induced injury. Nothing is known, however, on whether endogenous HO-1 also plays a role in chronic ischemia to protect from development of tissue necrosis. The aim of this study is, therefore, to evaluate in vivo whether endogenous HO-1 exerts protection on chronically ischemic musculocutaneous tissue, and whether this protection is mediated by an attenuation of the microcirculatory dysfunction. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In C57BL/6-mice, a chronically ischemic flap was elevated and fixed into a dorsal skinfold chamber. In a second group, tin-protoporphyrin-IX was administrated to competitively block the action of HO-1. Animals without flap elevation served as controls. With the use of intravital fluorescence microscopy, microcirculation, apoptotic cell death, and tissue necrosis were analyzed over a 10-day observation period. The time course of HO-1 expression was determined by Western blotting. RESULTS: Chronic ischemia induced an increase of HO-1 expression, particularly at day 1 and 3. This was associated with arteriolar dilation and hyperperfusion, which was capable of maintaining an adequate capillary perfusion density in the critically perfused central part of the flap, demarcating the distal necrosis. Inhibition of endogenous HO-1 by tin-protoporphyrin-IX completely abrogated arteriolar dilation (44.6 +/- 6.2 microm versus untreated flaps: 71.3 +/- 7.3 microm; P < 0.05) and hyperperfusion (3.13 +/- 1.29 nL/s versus 8.55 +/- 3.56 nL/s; P < 0.05). This resulted in a dramatic decrease of functional capillary density (16 +/- 16 cm/cm(2)versus 84 +/- 31 cm/cm(2); P < 0.05) and a significant increase of apoptotic cell death (585 +/- 51 cells/mm(2)versus 365 +/- 53 cells/mm(2); P < 0.05), and tissue necrosis (73% +/- 5% versus 51% +/- 5%; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Thus, our results suggest that chronic ischemia-induced endogenous HO-1 protects ischemically endangered tissue, probably by the vasodilatory action of the HO-1-associated carbon monoxide.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Erni, Dominique










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 22:18

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 115628)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback