Selective release of arachidonic acid from prelabeled phospholipid pools has been observed following exposure of neonatal rat cardiac myocytes to metabolic inhibitors in vitro and has been correlated temporally with the development of irreversible sarcolemmal damage. Hydrolysis of phospholipids with release of arachidonic acid may be an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of sarcolemmal damage induced by ischemia. To elucidate potential subcellular loci of arachidonic acid release in ischemic myocardium, we characterized the phospholipid composition of adult rat myocardial sarcolemma and delineated the biochemical and subcellular distribution of radiolabeled arachidonic acid in neonatal rat myocytes incubated with [3H]arachidonic acid for selected intervals. Although arachidonic acid comprised 13 ± 3% of total aliphatic moieties in combined choline and ethanolamine glycerophospholipids isolated from purified adult rat myocardial sarcolemma, radiolabeled arachidonic acid could not be detected in sarcolemma of cultured neonatal rat myocytes incubated with 5 nM [3H]arachidonic acid for 24 h. Radioactivity was located almost exclusively in mitochondria and internal cytoplasmic membranes (primarily sarcoplasmic reticulum), which collectively contained 90% of myocyte radioactivity. These results indicate that radiolabeled arachidonic acid released from prelabeled phospholipid pools on exposure of neonatal rat myocytes to oxidative inhibitors is derived from mitochondria and internal cell membranes. The diminutive labeling of the sarcolemma suggests that turnover of arachidonoyl phospholipids is slower in the sarcolemma than in other membranous organelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22/6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1987


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