Every two years The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute leads an international workshop in which a select group of the world’s leading basic and clinical scientists are invited to discuss and debate the future direction of cardioprotection in the setting of ischaemia-reperfusion injury Originally scheduled for April 2020 but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 12th Biennial Workshop was recently held in South Africa. The full report has now been published in the journal Basic Research in Cardiology and can be read here.
The workshop discussed how Remote Ischaemia Conditioning onditioning has led to a significant and fundamental understanding of the mechanisms preventing cell death following ischaemia and reperfusion, and the key target cyto-protective pathways utilised by protective interventions, such as both RIC as well as other pharmacological therapies.
Discussion points included how to adapt positive preclinical animal studies to mirror that of th patient presenting with an acute myocardial infarction, as well as how to refine patient selection in clinical studies to account for co-morbidities and ongoing therapy. The workshop also discussed the potential for RIC in other disease settings including ischaemic stroke, cardio-oncology and COVID-19.
While recognising RIC is a powerful cytoprotective intervention in experimental models, challenges remain including definition of the whole RIC cytoprotective signalling arc and understanding how co-morbidities and concomitant medical therapies may interfere with RIC signalling and the downstream cytoprotective signalling in the organ itself. Such fundamental questions will guide continued research for the HCI in these areas as we seek to unravel the enigma of RIC.