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Ultrastructural changes induced in the isolated rat heart by enzymatically generated oxygen radicals






Journal of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology 19(4): 379-390

Ultrastructural changes induced in the isolated rat heart by enzymatically generated oxygen radicals

This study describes the effect of oxygen radicals on the ultrastructure of the isolated Langendorff-perfused rat heart. Oxygen radicals were enzymatically generated by xanthine oxidase (0.025 U/ml) and hypoxanthine (0.96 mM). Hearts were perfusion-fixed for electron microscopy and stereological technique was performed to obtain estimates of volume fractions (Vv) of different tissue components. Perfusion with oxygen radicals resulted in areas with severely damaged myocardial cells. These changes included swelling and cristolysis of mitochondria, disruption of filaments, development of intracellular edema and focal disruption of the sarcolemma. Stereological examination revealed few alterations after 5 min perfusion with oxygen radicals. After 10 min perfusion with oxygen radicals, however, the Vv (myocyte/myocardium) increased from 0.542 .+-. 0.042 (mean .+-. S.D.) to 0.663 .+-. 0.144, and this paralleled the development of Vv (cellular edema/myocyte) being 0.047 .+-. 0.028. Vv (capillary wall/capillary) increased from 0.215 .+-. 0.046 to 0.411 .+-. 0.123 indicating endothelial swelling. Although the mitochondria appeared swollen, Vv (mitochondria/myocyte) remained constant. The effect of a 35 min recovery period on the ultrastructure was minor. The application of SOD and catalase together with xanthine oxidase and hypoxanthine reduced the observed changes significantly, thus proving the participation of oxygen radicals. This study confirms that oxygen radicals can induce major alterations in myocardial ultrastructure.

Accession: 006857344

PMID: 3612820

DOI: 10.1016/s0022-2828(87)80583-7

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