S Antonucci, JF Mulvey, N Burger, M Di Sante, AR Hall, EC Hinchy, ST Caldwell, AV Gruszczyk, S Deshwal, RC Hartley, N Kaludercic, MP Murphy, F Di Lisa, T Krieg
Free Radic Biol Med
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have an equivocal role in myocardial ischaemia reperfusion injury. Within the cardiomyocyte, mitochondria are both a major source and target of ROS. We evaluate the effects of a selective, dose-dependent increase in mitochondrial ROS levels on cardiac physiology using the mitochondria-targeted redox cycler MitoParaquat (MitoPQ). Low levels of ROS decrease the susceptibility of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) to anoxia/reoxygenation injury and also cause profound protection in an in vivo mouse model of ischaemia/reperfusion. However higher doses of MitoPQ resulted in a progressive alteration of intracellular [Ca2+] homeostasis and mitochondrial function in vitro, leading to dysfunction and death at high doses. Our data show that a primary increase in mitochondrial ROS can alter cellular function, and support a hormetic model in which low levels of ROS are cardioprotective while higher levels of ROS are cardiotoxic.