Selective Impairment of Respiration in Mitochondria Isolated from Brain Subregions Following Transient Forebrain Ischemia in the Rat

Neil R. Sims

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    114 Citations (Scopus)


    Abstract: Using Percoll density gradient centrifugation, free (nonsynaptosomal) mitochondria were isolated from the dorsal‐lateral striatum and paramedian neocortex of rats during complete forebrain ischemia and reperfusion. Mitochondria prepared from either region after 30 min of ischemia showed decreased state 3 (ADP and substrate present) and uncoupled respiration rates (19–45% reductions) with pyruvate plus malate as substrates, whereas state 4 respiration (no ADP present) was preserved. At 6 h of recirculation, state 3 and uncoupled respiration rates for mitochondria from the paramedian neocortex (a region resistant to ischemic damage) were similar to or even increased compared with control values. By contrast, in mitochondria from the dorsal‐lateral striatum (a region containing neurons susceptible to global ischemia), decreases in state 3 and uncoupled respiration rates (25 and 30% less than control values) were again observed after 6 h of recirculation. With succinate as respiratory substrate, however, no significant differences from control values were found in either region at this time point. By 24 h of recirculation, respiratory activity with either pyruvate plus malate or succinate was greatly reduced in samples from the dorsal‐lateral striatum, probably reflecting complete loss of function in some organelles. In contrast with these marked changes in free mitochondria, the respiratory properties of synaptosomal mitochondria, assessed from measurements in unfractionated homogenates, were unchanged from controls in the dorsal‐lateral striatum at each of the time points studied, but showed reductions (19–22%) during ischemia and after 24 h of recirculation in the paramedian neocortex. The results from this study provide evidence that reductions in the function of free mitochondria, apparently involving restriction of electron flow through complex I of the electron transport chain, develop selectively in an ischemia‐susceptible region at times coincident with initial histological evidence of neuronal damage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1836-1844
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1991

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Ischemia
    • Mitochondria
    • Neuronal degeneration
    • Oxidative phosphorylation


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