The effects of iron deficiency on the respiratory function and cytochrome content of rat heart mitochondria.
We have examined the effects of total body iron deficiency on the function of mitochondria isolated from rat hearts. Male Wistar rats were weaned at 21 days and divided into an experimental iron-deficient group and a control group. Both groups received identical diet but an iron supplement (180 mg of ferrous sulfate per kg of diet) was added for the control group. Rats were studied at 7 and 14 weeks. Iron-deficient rats weighed less than controls but showed significantly increased ventricle to body weight ratio at both 7 and 14 weeks, indicating relative cardiac hypertrophy. Isolated mitochondrial fractions from iron-deficient and control rats contained similar proportions of whole homogenate protein and succinic cytochrome c reductase activity, indicating that the fractions isolated from the experimental and control rats were comparable. In iron-deficient rats NADH cytochrome c reductase, succinic cytochrome c reductase, succinic dehydrogenase, and NADH ferricyanide oxidoreductase activities were all significantly reduced at 7 and 14 weeks. Cytochrome c oxidase activity was significantly reduced only at 14 weeks as were the concentrations of cytochromes a3, c1, and b. The rate of oxygen uptake by mitochondria was significantly lower at both 7 and 14 weeks but the P/O ratio was unaltered. We conclude that iron deficiency is associated with impairment of myocardial mitochondrial electron transport.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association