Abstract 2630: Evidence of Early Heart Mitochondrial Dysfunction after Resuscitation from Cardiac Arrest
Background: Reperfusion injury post-resuscitation is associated with metabolic dysfunction and free radicals production. It has been hypothesized that mitochondrial permeability changes induced by calcium overload underlies this uncoupling of respiration from ATP synthesis and initiates cytochrome c-dependent apoptotic cascades. Our goal is to evaluate the intrinsic status of the mitochondrial electron transfer chain, i.e. irreversible modifications, in resuscitated animals independently of transient changes in calcium and permeability.
Methods: Female mice were subjected to 8 min cardiac arrest by KCl injection followed by mechanical ventilation and CPR until return of spontaneous circulation (resuscitation rate: 86%, 24 h survival: 40%) under continuous blood pressure and temperature monitoring. Animals were divided in 4 groups: SHAM (instrumented, no cardiac arrest), CA (8 min cardiac arrest), R30 (30 min post-resuscitation), and R60 (60 min post-resuscitation). Heart mitochondria were immediately isolated and physically disrupted to dissipate ionic gradients in the presence of a calcium chelator. Production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by Complex I and III was determined fluorometrically with the Amplex Red-HRP system and the activities of Complex I, II, and the Complex I-III and II-III segments by spectrophotometric techniques using appropriate substrates and inhibitors. Cytochrome c content and the COX IV subunit (as a loading control) were analyzed by western blot and densitometry.
Results: A 40% increase in H2O2 production by Complex I and III was evident after just 8 min of cardiac arrest (ECA group, p<0.05), which was followed by a progressive reduction in Complex I activity (ECA>R30>R60), resulting in a relative doubling of electron leak. In contrast, Complex II and II-III activities and cytochrome c content remained unaffected at all times evaluated.
Conclusions: Using an animal model that closely mimics resuscitation in humans, we have found signs of early mitochondrial dysfunction independently of transient changes in permeability and calcium. These changes are consistent with increased ROS production at expense of impaired oxidative phosphorylation.