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.
- Permeability Transition pore
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism