Genetic deletion of CD38 confers post-ischemic myocardial protection through preserved pyridine nucleotides

James Boslett, Moustafa Helal, Eduardo Chini, Jay L. Zweier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Following the onset of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), CD38 activation occurs and is associated with depletion of NAD(P)(H) in the heart as well as myocardial injury and endothelial dysfunction. Studies with pharmacological inhibitors suggest that the NADP+-hydrolyzing ability of CD38 can deplete the NAD(P)(H) pools. However, there is a need for more specific studies on the importance of CD38 and its role in the process of endothelial dysfunction and myocardial injury in the post-ischemic heart. Therefore, experiments were performed in hearts of mice with global gene knockout of CD38. Isolated perfused CD38−/− and wild type (WT) mouse hearts were studied to determine the link between CD38 activation, the levels of NADP(H), endothelial dysfunction, and myocardial injury after I/R. Genetic deletion of CD38 preserves the myocardial and endothelial NADP(H) pools compared to WT. Whole heart BH4 levels in CD38−/− hearts were also preserved. Post-ischemic levels of cGMP were greatly depleted in WT hearts, but preserved to near baseline levels in CD38−/− hearts. The preservation of these metabolite pools in CD38−/− hearts was accompanied by near full recovery of NOS-dependent coronary flow, while in WT hearts, severe impairment of endothelial function and NOS uncoupling occurred with decreased NO and enhanced superoxide generation. CD38−/− hearts also exhibited marked protection against I/R with preserved glutathione levels, increased recovery of left ventricular contractile function, decreased myocyte enzyme release, and decreased infarct size. Thus, CD38 activation causes post-ischemic depletion of NADP(H) within the heart, with severe depletion from the endothelium, resulting in endothelial dysfunction and myocardial injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Coronary circulation
  • Endothelium
  • Ischemia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidant stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic deletion of CD38 confers post-ischemic myocardial protection through preserved pyridine nucleotides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this