Elevation in cytosolic free calcium concentration early in myocardial ischemia in perfused rat heart

C. Steenbergen, E. Murphy, L. Levy, R. E. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in cytosolic free calcium concentration during myocardial ischemia were measured by 19F NMR in 5FBAPTA-loaded perfused rat hearts. The hearts were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing 5 μM of the acetoxymethyl ester of 5FBAPTA, which was hydrolyzed by cytosolic esterases to achieve cytosolic concentrations of 5FBAPTA of 0.12 to 0.65 nM. Cytosolic free calcium concentrations were calculated as the product of the ratio of peak areas for bound and free 5FBAPTA in the NMR spectra and the dissociation constant (708 nM). The basal cytosolic calcium concentration, measured in potassium or magnesium arrested hearts, was 252 nM, and the time-average calcium concentration in beating hearts was 630 nM. Following the onset of total ischemia, there was no immediate substantial change in cytosolic calcium despite a rapid decline in creatine phosphate and ATP and a marked increase in inorganic phosphate as monitored by 31P NMR, but by 10 minutes, there was a substantial increase in free calcium concentration. The ratio of peak areas of bound and free 5FBAPTA returned to the preischemic value during reperfusion, and there was no detectable loss of 5FBAPTA from the heart. Creatine phosphate was also restored to its preischemic level during reperfusion. These results indicate that cytosolic free calcium increases during ischemia and is not immediately associated with lethal injury. This increase in cytosolic calcium may activate degradative enzymes that eventually could compromise myocyte viability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-707
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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