Hepatic mitochondrial energy production in rats with chronic iron overload
Bacon, B.R.; O'Neill, R.; Britton, R.S.
Gastroenterology 105(4): 1134-1140
Background: Iron overload results in impaired hepatic mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. The current experiments evaluated the effects of iron overload on enzyme activities in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, on hepatic adenine nucleotide levels, and on hepatocellular oxygen consumption. Methods: Hepatic iron overload was produced in rats using dietary carbonyl iron. Hepatic adenine nucleotides were assessed after freeze-clamping, mitochondrial enzyme activities and oxygen consumption were measured in isolated mitochondria, and oxygen consumption in isolated hepatocytes was determined. Results: At a mean hepatic iron concentration of 4630 mu-g/g, there were no changes in reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-cytochrome c reductase activity (complex I-III), but there was a 35% reduction in succinate-cytochrome c reductase activity (complex II-III), and a 70% decrease in cytochrome c oxidase activity (complex IV). With mild iron loading (2060 mu-g/g), there was a 28% decrease in hepatic adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) levels with no change in adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP) or adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP) levels, whereas, at a higher hepatic iron concentration (3170 mu-g/g), there was a 40% reduction in ATP levels, a 22% decrease in ADP levels, with no change in AMP levels. There was a 48% reduction in oxygen consumption in isolated iron-loaded hepatocytes. Conclusions: Chronic iron overload decreases hepatic mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase activity, hepatocellular oxygen consumption, and hepatic ATP levels.