Quantitative x-ray microanalysis of the elemental composition of individual myocytes in hypoxic rabbit myocardium.
The purpose of this study was to use energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis to test the following hypotheses: (1) that individual myocytes may exhibit important variation in the severity of alterations in intracellular ionic homeostasis in response to hypoxia and (2) that hypoxic myocytes may accumulate certain elements in quantities sufficient to impair organellar function and structure. A rabbit interventricular septal preparation with attached small right ventricular papillary muscles was used to obtain control oxygenated myocardium (six papillary muscles) and myocardium rendered hypoxic for 1 to 1 1/2 hr (n = 8). Myocardium not perfused in vitro was also obtained (n = 4). Microanalysis was performed on freeze-dried thin sections of unfixed papillary muscles. Elemental concentrations were determined by suitable cryostandards of elements of interest. Sarcoplasm and mitochondria of most hypoxic myocytes exhibited significant alterations of diffusible elements, including increases in sodium and chloride and decreases in potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, without major change in calcium. The most severely altered myocytes showed evidence of calcium overloading manifested by markedly increased levels of mitochondrial calcium and phosphorus associated with formation of electron-dense mitochondrial inclusions. Levels of mitochondrial calcium and phosphorus exceeded those previously found to markedly impair the function and structure of isolated mitochondria. Thus x-ray microanalysis of unfixed cryosections provides direct measurements of subcellular alterations in elemental composition of individual myocytes in injured myocardium and demonstrates that both calcium and phosphorus accumulate in mitochondria of severely injured myocytes in concentrations sufficient to exert deleterious effects on these organelles.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association