Burn serum causes a CD14-dependent mitochondrial damage in primary cardiomyocytes

Qun S. Zang, David L. Maass, Jane G. Wigginton, Robert C. Barber, Bobbie Martinez, Ahamed H. Idris, Jureta W. Horton, Fiemu E. Nwariaku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Studies from animal models suggest that myocardial mitochondrial damage contributes to cardiac dysfunction after burn injury. In this report, we used an ex vivo model of primary cardiomyocyte culture to investigate the mechanisms of burn-induced mitochondrial impairment. Briefly, blood serum was collected from Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats subjected to 40% total body surface area burn and added (10% vol/vol) to primary cardiomyocytes prepared from SD rats. The effect of the burn serum on mitochondrial function and membrane integrity in the myocytes was analyzed. Exposure of myocytes to burn serum doubled the mitochondrial membrane damage measured by two independent assays. This treatment also significantly elevated mitochondrial oxidative stress, indicated by a more than 30% increase in lipid oxidation. Downregulation of mitochondrial antioxidant defense was also evident since the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were reduced by about 30% and 50%, respectively. Burn serum also induced deficiency of mitochondrial metabolism, indicated by a 30% decrease in the activity of cytochrome c oxidase. These mitochondrial dysfunctions appear to be generated by oxidative stress because burn serum induced a significant increase of mitochondrial oxygen species (mtROS) in cardiomyocytes, and pretreatment of cardiomyocytes with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine prevented the mitochondrial damages induced by burn serum. Remarkably, the increase in mtROS was abolished by an antibody-mediated blockade of CD14. Furthermore, burn injury-induced mitochondrial damage in cardiomyocytes was prevented in CD14 knockout mice. Taken together, these data suggested that burn injury produces CD14-dependent mitochondrial damage via oxidative stress in myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1951-H1958
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Burn injury
  • Mitochondrial metabolism
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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