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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 Feb;288(2):H744-51. Epub 2004 Sep 23.

Role of cytosolic vs. mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation in burn injury-related myocardial inflammation and function.

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Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9160, USA.


This study was designed to examine the role of mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis in burn-related myocardial inflammation. We hypothesized that mitochondrial Ca2+ is a primary modulator of cardiomyocyte TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 responses to injury and infection. Ventricular myocytes were prepared by Langendorff perfusion of hearts from adult rats subjected to sham burn or burn injury over 40% of total body surface area to produce enzymatic (collagenase) digestion. Isolated cardiomyocytes were suspended in MEM, cell number was determined, and aliquots of myocytes from each experimental group were loaded with fura 2-AM (2 microg/ml) for 1) 45 min at room temperature to measure total cellular Ca2+, 2) 45 min at 30 degrees C followed by incubation at 37 degrees C for 2 h to eliminate cytosolic fluorescence, and 3) 20 min at 37 degrees C in MnCl2 (200 microM)-containing buffer to quench cytosolic fura 2-AM signal. In vitro studies included preparation of myocytes from control hearts and challenge of myocytes with LPS or burn serum (BS), which have been shown to increase cytosolic Ca2+. Additional aliquots of myocytes were challenged with LPS or BS with or without a selective inhibitor of mitochondrial Ca2+, ruthenium red (RR). All cells were examined on a stage-inverted microscope that was interfaced with the InCyt Im2 fluorescence imaging system. Heat treatment or MnCl2 challenge eliminated myocyte cytosolic fluorescence, whereas cells maintained at room temperature retained 95% of their initial fluorescence. Compared with Ca2+ levels measured in sham myocytes, burn trauma increased cytosolic Ca2+ from 90 +/- 3 to 293 +/- 6 nM (P < 0.05) and mitochondrial Ca2+ from 24 +/- 1 to 75 +/- 2 nM (P < 0.05). LPS (25 microg/5 x 10(4) cells) or BS (10% by volume) challenge for 18 h increased cardiomyocyte cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ and promoted myocyte secretion of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6. RR pretreatment decreased LPS- and BS-related rise in mitochondrial Ca2+ and cytokine secretion but had no effect on cytosolic Ca2+. BS challenge in perfused control hearts impaired myocardial contraction/relaxation, and RR pretreatment of hearts prevented BS-related myocardial contractile dysfunction. Our data suggest that a rise in mitochondrial Ca2+ is one modulator of myocardial inflammation and dysfunction in injury states such as sepsis and burn trauma.

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