Cytochrome c is released from mitochondria into the cytosol after cerebral anoxia or ischemia

Miguel A. Pérez-Pinzón, Guang Ping Xu, James Born, José Lorenzo, Raul Busto, Myron Rosenthal, Thomas J. Sick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial dysfunction may underlie both acute and delayed neuronal cell death resulting from cerebral ischemia. Specifically, postischemic release of mitochondrial constituents such as the pro-apoptotic respiratory chain component cytochrome c could contribute acutely to further mitochondrial dysfunction and to promote delayed neuronal death. Experiments reported here tested the hypothesis that ischemia or severe hypoxia results in release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. Cytochrome c was measured spectrophotometrically from either the cytosolic fraction of cortical brain homogenates after global ischemia plus reperfusion, or from brain slices subjected to severe hypoxia plus reoxygenation. Cytochrome c content in cytosol derived from cerebral cortex was increased after ischemia and reperfusion. In intact hippocampal slices, there was a loss of reducible cytochrome c after hypoxia/reoxygenation, which is consistent with a decrease of this redox carrier in the mitochondrial pool. These results suggest that cytochrome c is lost to the cytosol after cerebral ischemia in a manner that may contribute to postischemic mitochondrial dysfunction and to delayed neuronal death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Anoxia
  • Apoptosis
  • Ischemia
  • Mitochondria
  • Necrosis
  • Permeability Transition pore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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