Survival of myocytes and mesenchymal cells in the heart is tightly regulated by a number of
adaptive processes that are invoked with the changes that occur within the parenchyma and stroma.
Autophagy is implicated in cellular housekeeping duties and maintenance of the integrity of the intracellular
milieu by removal of protein aggregates and damaged organelles, whereas under pathophysiological
conditions, the chronic up-regulation of autophagy may lead to significant disturbance of homeostatic
conditions. Nonetheless, the role of autophagy in heart disease in the context of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion
injury is currently unclear. This review will focus upon the role of autophagy as it pertains to ischemiareperfusion
damage in the heart.
Keywords: Autophagy, heart, heart disease, ischemia-reperfusion, mitophagy.
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