Background: A mouse model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is widely used to study myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (I/RI). However, few studies focus on the direct comparison of the extent of pathological events resulting from variant durations of ischemia and reperfusion process.

Methods: A mouse model of I/RI was established by ligation and perfusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD), and the dynamic changes were recorded by electrocardiogram at different stages of I/R. Subsequently, reperfusion duration was used as a variable to directly compare the phenotypes of different myocardial injury degrees induced by 3 h, 6 h and 24 h reperfusion from myocardial infarct size, myocardial apoptosis, myocardial enzyme, and inflammatory cytokine levels.

Results: All mice subjected to myocardial I/R surgery showed obvious myocardial infarction, extensive myocardial apoptosis, dynamic changes in serum myocardial enzyme and inflammatory cytokines, at least for the first 24 h of reperfusion. The infarct size and apoptosis rates gradually increased with the extension of reperfusion time. The peaks of serum myocardial enzyme and inflammatory cytokines occurred at 6 h and 3 h of reperfusion, respectively. We also established I/R mice models with 30 and 60 mins of ischemia. After 21 days of remodeling, longer periods of ischemia increased the degree of fibrosis and reduced cardiac function.

Conclusions: In summary, we conclude that reperfusion durations of 3 h, 6 h, and 24 h induces different injury phenotypes in ischemia-reperfusion mouse model. At the same time, the ischemia duration before reperfusion also affects the degree of cardiac remodeling.