Reduced unloaded sarcomere shortening velocity and a shift to a slower myosin isoform in acute murine coxsackievirus myocarditis.
We developed a mouse myocardial preparation to study cellular dysfunction in acute coxsackievirus myocarditis. Thin right ventricular papillary muscles from normal mice (n = 8) were compared with muscles from mice 7 days after coxsackievirus infection (n = 7). Sarcomere shortening was studied with laser diffraction (HeNe, lambda = 623.8 nm). A servomotor was used to shorten a muscle until slack early in isometric contraction. Unloaded sarcomere shortening velocity (Vo) was measured at the start of zero force at slack length. Vo was independent of the extent of slack release and was the same as that estimated with an isotonic force-sarcomere shortening velocity relation. Resting muscle stiffness was calculated from shortening perturbations in resting muscles. The histology of some papillary muscles (normal, n = 4; infected, n = 3) was studied. There was no ventricular hypertrophy. Resting sarcomere length (SL) in infected preparations (2.11 +/- 0.07 micron) (mean +/- 1 SD) was the same as in normal preparations (2.11 +/- 0.08 micron). In isometric twitches in normal and infected muscles, total peak force (4.31 +/- 1.07 and 3.77 +/- 1.86 g/mm2, respectively) resting force (0.81 +/- 0.37 and 0.81 +/- 0.35 g/mm2, respectively), and time to peak force (129.5 +/- 20.3 and 125.2 +/- 13.0 milliseconds, respectively) were not significantly different. Vo was 4.14 +/- 0.84 micron/s in normal muscles at an SL of 2.08 +/- 0.09 micron and 1.70 +/- 0.33 micron/s in infected muscles at an SL of 2.06 +/- 0.08 micron. Resting stiffness was the same for normal and infected muscles. There was inflammation but no fibrosis or necrosis. Thus, Vo was depressed early in acute viral myocarditis without hypertrophy, myocyte necrosis, fibrosis, or altered resting stiffness. Pyrophosphate gel electrophoresis showed a shift from predominantly fast to slow myosin isoforms. Apparently, there is remodeling of the contractile apparatus early in acute coxsackievirus myocarditis that is caused either by the direct effects of the virus or the immune response.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association