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Exp Mol Pathol. 1987 Feb;46(1):123-35.

Effect of adriamycin on electron transport in rat heart, liver, and tumor mitochondria.


The effect of Adriamycin on mitochondria of the rat heart, liver, and Ehrlich ascites tumor mitochondria has been evaluated. The results may be summarized as follows: Adriamycin reduces both ADP- and FCCP-stimulated respiration, inhibits oxidative phosphorylation, decreases mitochondrial ATP-ase activity, and affects the redox state of respiratory carriers. These alterations are common to all types of mitochondria tested with almost similar patterns. However, the severe cardiotoxicity of the drug cannot be ascribed only to an effect on mitochondrial energy-yielding processes. The addition of hexokinase to phosphorylating heart mitochondria does not increase the sensitivity of succinate oxidation to Adriamycin. Experiments to determine the site of action were not able to detect a specific point of attack. It is conceivable, therefore, that the modifications induced by Adriamycin on the functional parameters of mitochondria may be ascribed to alterations of the physical state of some components of the inner mitochondrial membrane, e.g., lipids, which regulate the kinetic properties of the membrane-associated enzymes.

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