Repeated intermittent stress exacerbates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury

Deborah A. Scheuer, Steven W. Mifflin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Chronic stress in humans has been correlated with increased risk for ischemic heart disease. Thus experiments were conducted to determine if repeated intermittent restraint stress increased infarct size in a rat model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to no stress (control) or to daily restraint stress for 1-1.5 h for 8-14 days (stress protocol A) or for 2 h daily for 11 or 12 days (stress protocol B). Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (30-min ischemia, 3-h reperfusion) was performed in anesthetized rats. Average baseline arterial pressures were 111 ± 4, 120 ± 10, and 125 ± 7 mmHg in the control, stress protocol A, and stress protocol B groups, respectively. Infarct size (%area at risk) was significantly larger in both groups of stressed rats compared with control rats (58 ± 5, 78 ± 2, and 79 ± 3% in the control, stress protocol A, and stress protocol B groups, respectively). During ischemia or early reperfusion, zero of eight control, two of six protocol A stress, and two of five protocol B stress rats had at least one period of severe arrhythmia. Therefore, these results provide experimental evidence corroborating correlative studies in humans that link chronic stress with increased morbidity and mortality from ischemic heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R470-R475
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 43-2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Arrhythmia
  • Chronic stress
  • Corticosterone
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Restraint stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Repeated intermittent stress exacerbates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this