SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
OPIE, Lionel H. Cardioprotection from metabolism to molecules to certainties. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.6, pp.491-492. ISSN 2078-5135.
Starting millions of years ago, the heart developed metabolic and molecular cardioprotective paths. The concept of metabolic protection includes the recent successful early provision of glucose-insulin-potassium (GIK) to patients with acute coronary syndromes in the ambulance to inhibit high harmful free-fatty acid levels. Molecular cardioprotective pathways also developed in primeval times. The 2 major paths are the RISK (Reperfusion Injury Salvage Kinases) path and the SAFE (Survival Activating Factor Enhancement) path, on which our group in Cape Town has focused. These paths help to lessen ischaemic-perfusion damage, and may, hypothetically, also be activated by intense exercise.