Changes in cardiac electrophysiology, morphology, tissue biochemistry and vascular reactions in glutathione depleted animals

Pal Pacher, Valeria Kecskemeti, Andras Z. Ronai, Istvan Balogh, Gabor Szalai, Bela Matkovics

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The effects of acute and chronic glutathione depletion (single i.p. injection of 3 mmol/kg L-buthionine-S,R-sulphoximine and 2 mmol/kg for 4 days) on heart action potential (AP) characteristics, electronmicroscopy, cytochemistry and biochemistry and vascular contractility and nitric oxide-mediated relaxation were studied in rats and guinea pigs. In guinea pig cardiac preparations both acute and chronic glutathione depletion caused a significant decrease of maximum rate of rise of depolarization phase and duration of action potential AP(APD) at 25, 50, and 90% of repolarization but did not modify the other AP parameters. The contractile responses of helically cut aortic strips to norepinephrine were not altered by chronic glutathione depletion but the relaxing responses of precontracted preparations to acetylcholine were significantly reduced both in rats and guinea pigs. Morphologically there were indications of permeability changes, intracellular and interstitial edema and myofilament damage in the myocardium. There was also a decrease in cytochromoxydase and succinyl dehydrogenase activities both in rats and guinea pigs. The present data suggest that glutathione depletion may influence the Na+ and K+ channel activities, causes morphological and biochemical changes in cardiac preparations and may interfere with nitric oxide generation or its action in aortic strips.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 1998



  • Buthionine sulphoximine
  • Glutathione depletion
  • Heart electrophysiology and morphology
  • Vascular reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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