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Open Access Research article

Intracellular diffusion restrictions in isolated cardiomyocytes from rainbow trout

Niina Sokolova, Marko Vendelin and Rikke Birkedal*

Author affiliations

Laboratory of Systems Biology, Institute of Cybernetics, Tallinn University of Technology, Akadeemia 21, 12618 Tallinn, Estonia

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2009, 10:90  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-10-90

Published: 17 December 2009

Abstract

Background

Restriction of intracellular diffusion of adenine nucleotides has been studied intensively on adult rat cardiomyocytes. However, their cause and role in vivo is still uncertain. Intracellular membrane structures have been suggested to play a role. We therefore chose to study cardiomyocytes from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), which are thinner and have fewer intracellular membrane structures than adult rat cardiomyocytes. Previous studies suggest that trout permeabilized cardiac fibers also have diffusion restrictions. However, results from fibers may be affected by incomplete separation of the cells. This is avoided when studying permeabilized, isolated cardiomyocytes. The aim of this study was to verify the existence of diffusion restrictions in trout cardiomyocytes by comparing ADP-kinetics of mitochondrial respiration in permeabilized fibers, permeabilized cardiomyocytes and isolated mitochondria from rainbow trout heart. Experiments were performed at 10, 15 and 20°C in the absence and presence of creatine.

Results

Trout cardiomyocytes hypercontracted in the solutions used for mammalian cardiomyocytes. We developed a new solution in which they retained their shape and showed stable steady state respiration rates throughout an experiment. The apparent ADP-affinity of permeabilized cardiomyocytes was different from that of fibers. It was higher, independent of temperature and not increased by creatine. However, it was still about ten times lower than in isolated mitochondria.

Conclusions

The differences between fibers and cardiomyocytes suggest that results from trout heart fibers were affected by incomplete separation of the cells. However, the lower ADP-affinity of cardiomyocytes compared to isolated mitochondria indicate that intracellular diffusion restrictions are still present in trout cardiomyocytes despite their lower density of intracellular membrane structures. The lack of a creatine effect indicates that trout heart lacks mitochondrial creatine kinase tightly coupled to respiration. This argues against diffusion restriction by the outer mitochondrial membrane. These results from rainbow trout cardiomyocytes resemble those from other low-performance hearts such as neonatal rat and rabbit hearts. Thus, it seems that metabolic regulation is related to cardiac performance, and it is likely that rainbow trout can be used as a model animal for further studies of the localization and role of diffusion restrictions in low-performance hearts.