Abstract:The cAMP analogue 8-Br-cAMP-AM (8-Br) confers marked protection against global ischaemia/reperfusion of isolated perfused heart. We tested the hypothesis that 8-Br is also protective under clinically relevant conditions (regional ischaemia) when applied either before ischemia or at the beginning of reperfusion, and this effect is associated with the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). 8-Br (10 $μ$M) was administered to Langendorff-perfused rat hearts for 5 min either before or at the end of 30 min regional ischaemia. Ca(2+)-induced mitochondria swelling (a measure of MPTP opening) and binding of hexokinase II (HKII) to mitochondria were assessed following the drug treatment at preischaemia. Haemodynamic function and ventricular arrhythmias were monitored during ischaemia and 2 h reperfusion. Infarct size was evaluated at the end of reperfusion. 8-Br administered before ischaemia attenuated ventricular arrhythmias, improved haemodynamic function, and reduced infarct size during ischaemia/reperfusion. Application of 8-Br at the end of ischaemia protected the heart during reperfusion. 8-Br promoted binding of HKII to the mitochondria and reduced Ca(2+)-induced mitochondria swelling. Thus, 8-Br protects the heart when administered before regional ischaemia or at the beginning of reperfusion. This effect is associated with inhibition of MPTP via binding of HKII to mitochondria, which may underlie the protective mechanism.