Mitochondrial performance in heat acclimation-A lesson from ischemia/reperfusion and calcium overload insults in the heart

Miri Assayag, Ann Saada, Gary Gerstenblith, Haifa Canaana, Rivka Shlomai, Michal Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Long-term heat acclimation (LTHA; 30 days, 34°C) causes phenotypic adaptations that render protection against ischemic/reperfusion insult (I/R, 30 min global ischemia and 40 min reperfusion) via heat acclimation-mediated cross-tolerance (HACT) mechanisms. Short-term acclimation (STHA, 2 days, 34°C), in contrast, is characterized by cellular perturbations, leading to increased susceptibility to insults. Here, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced mitochondrial respiratory function is part of the acclimatory repertoire and that the 30-day regimen is required for protection via HACT. We subjected isolated hearts and mitochondria from controls (C), STHA, or LTHA rats to I/R, hypoxia/reoxygenation, or Ca2+ overload insults. Mitochondrial function was assessed by measuring O2 consumption membrane potential (ΔΨm), mitochondrial Ca2+ ([Ca2+]m), ATP production, respiratory chain complex activities, and molecular markers of mitochondrial biogenesis. Our results, combining physiological and biochemical parameters, confirmed that mitochondria from LTHA rats subjected to insults, in contrast to C, preserve respiratory functions (e.g., upon I/R, C mitochondria fueled by glutamate-malate, demonstrated decreases of 81%, 13%, 25%, and 50% in O2/P ratio, ATP production, ΔΨm, and complex I activity, respectively, whereas the corresponding LTHA parameters remained unchanged). STHA mitochondria maintained ΔΨm but did not preserve ATP production. LTHA [Ca2+]m was significantly higher than that of C and STHA and was not affected by the hypoxia/reoxygenation protocol compared with C. Enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis markers, switched-on during STHA coincidentally with enhanced membrane integrity (ΔΨm), were insufficient to confer intact respiratory function upon insult. LTHA was required for respiratory complex I adaptation and HACT. Stabilized higher basal [Ca2+]m and attenuated Ca2+ overload are likely connected to this adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R870-R881
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2012


  • ATP production
  • Mitochondrial Ca
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential
  • Respiratory chain complex activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitochondrial performance in heat acclimation-A lesson from ischemia/reperfusion and calcium overload insults in the heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this