The elegant study of Kiss et al. in this issue of Acta Physiologica entitled ‘Vagal nerve stimulation reduces infarct size via a mechanism involving the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and down-regulation of cardiac and vascular arginase’ explores the role of arginase in myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion damage, and in the myocardial infarct size limitation produced by vagal nerve stimulation.
Although the incidence of acute myocardial infarction has decreased over the last decades, acute myocardial infarction continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality, worldwide. Moreover, patients that survive an acute myocardial infarction are at increased risk of developing congestive heart failure, with infarct size as a major predictor of post-infarct cardiac remodelling and heart failure. [...]