Myocardial ischemia: Correlation of mitochondrial adenine nucleotide and respiratory function

Gregory K. Asimakis, Vincent R. Conti

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52 Scopus citations


State 3 respiration of rat heart mitochondria decreased approximately 60% after 20 min normothermic in vitro ischemia. After 20 min ischemia, the levels of intramitochondrial adenine nucleotides (ATP+ADP+AMP) decreased to approximately 20% of control values, with a rapid loss between 10 and 20 min. Also, the exchangeable adenine pool of the mitochondria decreased 60% after 20 min ischemia. State 4 respiration was not affected by the ischemic insult. The adenine nucleotide translocase activities of mitochondria from control and ischemic hearts were too high to measure accurately. Therefore, the effects of ischemia on adenine nucleotide translocase activity could not be established. However, 1 μm carboxyatractyloside did not impair state 3 respiration of control mitochondria, but did inhibit the adenine translocase activity by at least 80%. Moreover, titration of state 3 respiration with carboxyatractyloside produced sigmoidal curves for mitochondria from control and ischemic tissue. State 3 respiration correlated well with the total mitochondrial adenine nucleotides and the exchangeable adenine pool (r=0.63 and 0.78, respectively). Data collected from isolated perfused rat hearts also showed a good correlation between state 3 respiration and the exchangeable adenine nucleotides (r=0.92). In this study, mitochondria were isolated from hearts that were either perfused, made ischemic for 30 min by aortic cross-clamp, or reperfused for 10 min after the aortic cross-clamp. The slopes and y-intercepts of the regression lines were similar for the in vitro ischemic and the perfusion studies. There was no significant difference between the effects of ischemia on the state 3 and uncoupled respiratory rates. The results of this study suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction associated with myocardial ischemia cannot be attributed to loss of adenine nucleotide translocase activity, but there is a good correlation between electron transport activity and intramitochondrial adenine nucleotide levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-447
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984


  • ATP
  • Adenine nucleotide translocase
  • Adenine nucleotides
  • Ischemia (myocardia)
  • Mitochondrial respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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