Recent studies have implicated accelerated sarcolemmal phospholipid catabolism as a mediator of the lethal sequelae of atherosclerotic heart disease. We have demonstrated that plasmalogens are the predominant phospholipid constituents of canine myocardium and that plasmalogens are hydrolyzed by a novel calcium independent plasmalogen selective phospholipase A2. Since the activities of phospholipases are modulated by the molecular dynamics and interfacial characteristics of their phospholipid substrates, we compared the molecular dynamics of plasmenylcholine and phosphatidylcholine vesicles by electron spin resonance spectroscopy and deuterium magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Plasmenylcholine vesicles have separate and distinct molecular dynamics in comparisons to their phosphatidylcholine counterparts as ascertained by substantial decreases in the angular fluctuations and motional velocities of probes attached to their sn-2 aliphatic constituents. Furthermore, since free radical oxidation of myocardial lipid constituents occurs during myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, we demonstrated that 1O2 mediated oxidation of plasmenylcholine resulted in the generation of several products which have chromatographic characteristics and molecular masses corresponding to 2-acyl lysophosphatide derivatives. Taken together, these studies underscore the biologic significance of the predominance of sarcolemmal plasmalogens present in mammalian myocardium and suggest that their catabolism by plasmalogen selective phospholipases and/or oxidative processes may contribute to the lethal sequelae of myocardial ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Ca-independent phospholipase A
  • free radical-mediated oxidation of plasmenylcholine
  • sarcolemmal plasmalogens


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