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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1990 Feb;22(2):165-81.

An in vitro model of myocardial ischemia utilizing isolated adult rat myocytes.

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Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois.


Isolated adult rat myocytes were used to develop an in vitro model of myocardial ischemia. Freshly isolated myocytes were spun into a cell pellet to limit extracellular volume. Excess supernatant was removed and the pellet was covered with mineral oil and incubated in a temperature controlled water bath. After various periods of incubation, cells were analyzed for adenine nucleotide levels, lactate accumulation, rate of cell death, and cell morphology. Adenine nucleotide profiles after 60 min incubation at 37 degrees C showed marked depletion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and large increases in adenosine monophosphate (AMP), adenosine, inosine, and lactate and no significant difference in levels of inosine monophosphate. These results are consistent with ischemic conditions. Reduction of the incubation temperature to 34 and 30 degrees C slowed the rate of cell squaring and the onset of cell death. Resuspension of ischemic cells after 30, 45, 60 and 90 min incubation in hypotonic buffer (170 mosmol) to induce acute cell swelling caused an increase in the number of non-viable cells at each time point. Control cells and ischemic cells incubated less than 30 min did not show increases in non-viable cells when subjected to hypotonic swelling. Morphological analysis revealed that isolated myocytes respond to ischemia in a heterogeneous fashion and exhibit changes at both light and electron microscopic levels similar to those seen in other ischemic models. These results indicate that pelleted isolated adult rat myocytes may be a useful in vitro model to study myocardial ischemic cells injury.

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