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Histochem J. 1994 Jan;26(1):79-89.

Ribosome distribution in normal and infarcted rat hearts.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Bergen, Norway.


Distribution of ribosomes throughout the myocardium of normal and infarcted rat hearts was studied by immunofluorescence and laser confocal scanning microscopy. In addition, sections were labelled with peroxidase or immunogold particles for electron microscopic examination. Ligation of the proximal free left coronary artery produced severe myocardial ischaemia, and after 6 days of ligation most of the left ventricular wall was necrotic and partially replaced by granulation tissue. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed the presence of ribosomes throughout the non-necrotic myocardium. Some cardiac muscle cells located in subendocardial areas and in the border areas surrounding the infarct were particularly intensely stained. Cells constituting the granulation tissue frequently exhibited strong ribosomal immunostaining. Within longitudinally sectioned cardiac muscle cells, ribosomes were organized in strands oriented along the long axis of the cell as well as in a cross-striated pattern. By double labelling of muscle cells with antibodies against ribosomes and Z-line-associated proteins (desmin or alpha-actinin), it was shown that the cross-striated bands of anti-ribosomal staining coincided with the I-bands along the myofibrils. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed a wide distribution of ribosomes throughout the intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal sarcoplasm, and some labelling was also observed within the I-band. The present results indicate that ribosomes are distributed in a characteristic pattern throughout the sarcoplasm of cardiac muscle cells in association with the myofibrils. Furthermore, it is suggested that within viable cardiac muscle cells located adjacent to the infarct, protein synthesis is increased; this might be an important factor in regional development of compensatory hypertrophy of the surviving cardiac muscle cells.

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