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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine

Modulation of Myocardial Mitochondrial Mechanisms during Severe Polymicrobial Sepsis in the Rat
Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Author: Mani Chopra et al.

by Mani Chopra, Honey B. Golden, Srinivas Mullapudi, William Dowhan, David E. Dostal, Avadhesh C. Sharma


We tested the hypothesis that 5-Hydroxydecanoic acid (5HD), a putative mitoKATP channel blocker, will reverse sepsis-induced cardiodynamic and adult rat ventricular myocyte (ARVM) contractile dysfunction, restore mitochondrial membrane permeability alterations and improve survival.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Male Sprague-Dawley rats (350–400 g) were made septic using 400 mg/kg cecal inoculum, ip. Sham animals received 5% dextrose water, ip. The Voltage Dependent Anion Channels (VDAC1), Bax and cytochrome C levels were determined in isolated single ARVMs obtained from sham and septic rat heart. Mitochondria and cytosolic fractions were isolated from ARVMs treated with norepinephrine (NE, 10 µmoles) in the presence/absence of 5HD (100 µmoles). A continuous infusion of 5HD using an Alzet pump reversed sepsis-induced mortality when administered at the time of induction of sepsis (-40%) and at 6 hr post-sepsis (-20%). Electrocardiography revealed that 5HD reversed sepsis-induced decrease in the average ejection fraction, Simpsons+m Mode (53.5±2.5 in sepsis and 69.2±1.2 at 24 hr in sepsis+5HD vs. 79.9±1.5 basal group) and cardiac output (63.3±1.2 mL/min sepsis and 79.3±3.9 mL/min at 24 hr in sepsis+5HD vs. 85.8±1.5 mL/min basal group). The treatment of ARVMs with 5HD also reversed sepsis-induced depressed contractility in both the vehicle and NE-treated groups. Sepsis produced a significant downregulation of VDAC1, and upregulation of Bax levels, along with mitochondrial membrane potential collapse in ARVMs. Pretreatment of septic ARVMs with 5HD blocked a NE-induced decrease in the VDAC1 and release of cytochrome C.


The data suggest that Bax activation is an upstream event that may precede the opening of the mitoKATP channels in sepsis. We concluded that mitoKATP channel inhibition via decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and reduced release of cytochrome C provided protection against sepsis-induced ARVM and myocardial contractile dysfunction.