Phospholipase C-evoked glycerol release in energy depleted rat myocardial cells

Research paper by Truls Myrmel, Terje S. Larsen, Andreas Skulberg, Kirsti Forsdahl, Clive Little

Indexed on: 01 Mar '89Published on: 01 Mar '89Published in: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry


Preincubation of rat myocardial cells in hypoxic substrate-free Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer (pH 7.4, 37°C) resulted in a substantial decline in high energy phosphates (ATP and CP). Thus, 20 and 60 min preincubation produced a 18 and 72% decline in ATP content, whereas the parallel decline in CP content was 51 and 73%. This energy depletion was accompanied by a change in cell morphology from the initial rod-shaped form to rounded up (hyper-contracted) myocytes. In cells preincubated in substrate-free normoxic buffer, both normal morphology and energy homeostasis were maintained. When energy depleted myocytes later were incubated in the presence of phospholipase C (PLC), this resulted in a substantial release of glycerol, amounting to 92 and 137 nmol/106 cells − 2 h in 20 and 60 min energy depleted myocytes, respectively. In addition, PLC caused an increased leakage of lactate dehydrogenase in energy depleted myocytes. Normal cells, on the other hand, were apparently not affected by PLC. These data suggest that PLC selectively attacks energy depleted and/or structurally damaged myocytes. This could well enhance the breakdown of the natural barrier between the extra- and intracellular compartments and thus augment the cellular damage during ischemia. Moreover, energy depleted myocytes appeared exceptionally sensitive to this enzyme, since the levels required to cause glycerol or lactate dehydrogenase release were several orders of magnitude lower than that required to cause membrane permeation in other cell types.