Cardiac reperfusion injury: Aging, lipid peroxidation, and mitochondrial dysfunction

David T. Lucas, Luke I. Szweda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Cardiac reperfusion and aging are associated with increased rates of mitochondrial free radical production. Mitochondria are therefore a likely site of reperfusion-induced oxidative damage, the severity of which may increase with age. 4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a major product of lipid peroxidation, increases in concentration upon reperfusion of ischemic cardiac tissue, can react with and inactivate enzymes, and inhibits mitochondrial respiration in vitro. HNE modification of mitochondrial protein(s) might, therefore, be expected to occur during reperfusion and result in loss in mitochondrial function. In addition, this process may be more prevalent in aged animals. To begin to test this hypothesis, hearts from 8- and 24-month- old rats were perfused in Langendorff fashion and subjected to periods of ischemia and/or reperfusion. The rate of state 3 respiration of mitochondria isolated from hearts exposed to ischemia (25 min) was approximately 25% less than that of controls, independent of age. Reperfusion (40 min) caused a further decline in the rate of state 3 respiration in hearts isolated from 24- but not 8-month-old rats. Furthermore, HNE modification of mitochondrial protein (~30 and 44 kDa) occurred only during reperfusion of hearts from 24- month-old rats. Thus, HNE-modified protein was present in only those mitochondria exhibiting reperfusion-induced declines in function. These studies therefore identify mitochondria as a subcellular target of reperfusion damage and a site of age-related increases in susceptibility to injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-514
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiac reperfusion injury: Aging, lipid peroxidation, and mitochondrial dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this