Myosin types in the human heart. An immunofluorescence study of normal and hypertrophied atrial and ventricular myocardium.
Two distinct myosin heavy chain isoforms, referred to as alpha and beta, were identified in the human heart with specific antimyosin antibodies. By indirect immunofluorescence, myosin heavy chain alpha was found to be a major component of atrial myosin and a minor component of ventricular myosin, while heavy chain beta was found to be a major component of ventricular myosin and a minor component of atrial myosin. In the normal heart, there was marked individual variability in the proportion of ventricular myocytes reactive for heavy chain alpha. Atrial myocytes staining for heavy chain beta were rare in the left atrium and more numerous in the right atrium, especially in the crista terminalis and in the interatrial septum. Surgical and autoptic specimens from hypertrophied left ventricles of patients with mitral regurgitation showed a myosin immunoreactivity pattern similar to that of normal specimens. Very rare muscle cells reactive for heavy chain alpha were seen in the hypertrophied left ventricles of subjects with hypertension and in the hypertrophied right ventricles of subjects with tetralogy of Fallot. A dramatic transformation of myosin heavy chain composition was observed in hypertrophied left atria of patients with mitral stenosis, with a shift to heavy chain beta in a large proportion of atrial myocytes. The findings indicate that chronic exposure to hemodynamic overload can induce marked changes in the myosin heavy chain composition of human atria, whereas it affects only slightly that of the ventricles.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association