Abnormalities in heart membranes and myofibrils during bacterial infective cardiomyopathy in the rabbit.
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We studied hearts from sham-operated and uninfected catheterized rabbits as well as from rabbits at early and late stages of cardiomyopathy and failure after 3 and 6 days of infection with Streptococcus viridans. No ultrastructural abnormalities or biochemical changes in membrane and myofibrillar activities were seen in 3-day uninfected hearts. In 6-day uninfected hearts there were decreased sarcolemmal M2+ ATPase, Na+-K+ ATPase, adenylate cyclase and calcium binding, microsomal calcium binding and uptake, and myofibrillar Ca2+-stimulated ATPase as well as increased mitochondrial calcium uptake. Slight ultrastructural changes also were apparent in 6-day uninfected hearts. At both early and late stages of infective cardiomyopathy and failure there were varying degrees of depression in sarcolemmal Mg2+ ATPase, Na+-K+ ATPase, adenylate cyclase and calcium binding, microsomal calcium binding, calcium uptake and basal ATPase, and myofibrillar Ca2+-stimulated ATPase activities. However, sarcolemmal Ca2+ ATPase and myofibrillar Mg2+ ATPase activities were decreased only after 6 days of infection. Mitochondrial calcium binding and uptake were increased in early stages but decreased in late stages of disease. Furthermore in infected hearts there were defects in mitrochondrial respiration and phosphorylation. Generalized severe myocardial cell damage involving myofibrils, mitochondria, and the sarcotubular system was seen only in late stages of infection. The results demonstrate impairment of different membrane and contractile protein functions as well as ultrastructural abnormalities in bacterial cardiomyopathic hearts which were absent or of lesser magnitude in hearts with only hypertrophy. The findings reported here suggest to use that there is an association between heart failure and changes in function of cellular components during bacterial infective cardiomyopathy.
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