Ticagrelor Improves Remodeling, Reduces Apoptosis, Inflammation and Fibrosis and Increases the Number of Progenitor Stem Cells After Myocardial Infarction in a Rat Model of Ischemia Reperfusion

Yochai Birnbaum, Dat Tran, Huan Chen, Sven Nylander, Luiz C. Sampaio, Yumei Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND/AIMS: We assessed the effects of ticagrelor, aspirin and prasugrel, started 7days after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury on remodeling, inflammation and fibrosis in the rat. We examined whether ticagrelor can affect the number of progenitor cells in the border zone. Ticagrelor, started 24h after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, attenuates the decrease in heart function and adverse remodeling, an effect which is blocked by aspirin. METHODS: Rats underwent 40min ischemia followed by reperfusion. Oral dosing with vehicle, ticagrelor (300mg/kg/d), aspirin (20mg/kg/d), their combination or prasugrel (15mg/kg/d) started 7days after infarction. Echocardiography was used to assess systolic function. Heart tissue were analyzed by rt-PCR, immunoblotting, ELISA and immunohistochemistry 2weeks after infarction. RESULTS: Both ticagrelor and aspirin attenuated the decrease in systolic function and remodeling, an effect that was blocked by their combination. Ticagrelor and aspirin attenuated the increase in ANP, BNP, collagen-I and collagen-III. Again, the effect was blocked by their combination. Ticagrelor increased c-Kit, Sca-1, Ki-67, CD34, attenuated the decrease in CD105 mRNA levels, and attenuated the increase in CD31, whereas aspirin increased Ki-67, suppressed the increase in CD31 and attenuated the decrease in CD105 mRNA levels. Prasugrel did not display any effects. CONCLUSION: Ticagrelor attenuated adverse remodeling and deterioration of left ventricular systolic function despite starting treatment after the myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury is completed. Aspirin had similar effects; however, when combined with ticagrelor, the protective effects were significantly attenuated. Ticagrelor increased the levels of several markers of stem cells and regeneration, suggesting cardiac healing by recruiting regenerative cells into the infarct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-981
Number of pages21
JournalCellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Apoptosis; Aspirin; Fibrosis; Inflammation; Ischemia-reperfusion; Prasugrel; Remodeling; Stem cells; Ticagrelor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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