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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Telmisartan protects against microvascular dysfunction during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma

Xiao-Cong Zeng, Xing-San Li* and Hong Wen

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, 530021, People’s Republic of China

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-39

Published: 5 June 2013



We investigated the potential of telmisartan to improve microvascular dysfunction induced by myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) pathway.


Forty-eight male rabbits were randomly allocated into sham-operated, I/R, GW9662, telmisartan, telmisartan–GW9662, or candesartan groups. Rabbits were anesthetized, and the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) was ligated for 60 minutes. Following reperfusion for 6 hours, angiotensin II content of the heart was determined using radioimmunoassay. Myocardial neutrophil accumulation and microvessel cross-sectional area were examined histologically. Myocardial capillaries were examined with transmission electron microscopy. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in the myocardium were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blot was utilized for investigating the expression of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and PPARG.


Angiotensin II concentration was significantly increased in all treatment groups compared with the sham-operated group (P < 0.05, all). Accumulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophils was significantly lower, while microvessel cross-sectional area was significantly higher in the telmisartan, telmisartan-GW9662, and candesartan groups compared with the I/R group (P < 0.05). ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 levels were also significantly lower, and correlated with lower NF-κB expression in these groups. The effects were the most significant in the telmisartan group compared with the telmisartan–GW9662 and candesartan groups. Telmisartan significantly increased PPARG protein expression compared with all other groups (P < 0.05, all).


Except for the typical effects of angiotensin II-receptor blocker, telmisartan improved microvascular dysfunction during myocardial I/R injury via the PPARG pathway.

Ischemia/reperfusion; Microvascular dysfunction; Telmisartan; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma