Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury poses a significant threat to human health. High level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and calcium overload are the foremost causes of myocardial damage in I/R. Sulforaphane (SFN) is known for its promising antioxidant effect. Whether or not SFN has myocardial protective effect against I/R is largely unknown. This study aimed to investigate if SFN can protect myocardium from I/R injury. We found that mice or cells pre-treated with SFN showed improved cardiac functions and cell survival. SFN treatment inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines and the increase of intracellular calcium induced by hypoxia-reperfusion (H/R), while mitochondria membrane potential was effectively maintained. Transcriptome analysis showed that CaMKIIδ expression was down-regulated by SFN treatment in I/R myocardium, while CaMKIIN2, the inhibitor of CaMKII, was upregulated. Knockdown of CaMKIIN2 not only led to increased level of total CaMKIIδ and the phosphorylated CaMKIIδ but also blocked the pro-survival effect of SFN for H/R cells. Moreover, CaMKIIN2 overexpression was sufficient to suppress CaMKIIδ activation and improve cell survival under H/R. Taken together, this study demonstrated that SFN exerts cardioprotective effect toward I/R injury through upregulating CaMKIIN2 and down-regulating CaMKIIδ.

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