Effects of ischemia and reperfusion on isolated ventricular myocytes from young adult and aged Fischer 344 rat hearts

J. Darcy O'Brien, Jessica H. Ferguson, Susan E. Howlett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This study examined the impact of age on contractile function, Ca 2+ homeostasis, and cell viability in isolated myocytes exposed to simulated ischemia and reperfusion. Ventricular myocytes were isolated from anesthetized young adult (3 mo) and aged (24 mo) male Fischer 344 rats. Cells were field-stimulated at 4 Hz (37°C), exposed to simulated ischemia, and reperfused with Tyrode solution. Cell shortening and intracellular Ca 2+ were measured simultaneously with an edge detector and fura-2. Cell viability was assessed by Trypan blue exclusion. Ischemia (20-45 min) depressed amplitudes of contraction equally in isolated myocytes from young adult and aged animals. The degree of post-ischemic contractile depression (stunning) was comparable in both groups. Ca2+ transient amplitudes were depressed in early reperfusion in young adult and aged cells and then recovered to preischemic levels in both groups. Cell viability also declined equally in reperfusion in both groups. In short, some cellular responses to simulated ischemia and reperfusion were similar in both groups. Even so, aged myocytes exhibited a much greater and more prolonged accumulation of diastolic Ca2+ in ischemia and in early reperfusion compared with myocytes from younger animals. In addition, the degree of mechanical alternans in ischemia increased significantly with age. The observation that there is an age-related increase in accumulation of diastolic Ca2+ in ischemia and early reperfusion may account for the increased sensitivity to ischemia and reperfusion injury in the aging heart. The occurrence of mechanical alternans in ischemia may contribute to contractile dysfunction in ischemia in the aging heart. Copyright © 2008 the American Physiological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)H2174-H2183
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology
    Volume294
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2008

    Keywords

    • Calcium transients
    • Cell shortening
    • Senescence

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