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Structural and Mechanical Changes in Heart Mitochondria of Rat by AFM

G.J. Lee, S.J. Chae, S.W. Kang, J.W. Lee, S.J. Ha, Y. Kim, W. Kim, H.K. Park
Kyung Hee University, KR

Keywords: AFM, heart mitochondria, ischemia, swelling


Mitochondria play critical roles in both the life and death of cardiac myocytes. Various factors such as loss of ATP synthesis and increase of ATP hydrolysis, impairment in ionic homeostasis, formation of reactive oxygen species and release of proapoptotic proteins are related to the generation of irreversible damage. It has been proposed that the release of cytochrome c is caused by a swelling of the mitochondrial matrix triggered by the apoptotic stimuli. But there is a controversy about whether or not the mitochondria indeed swell during apoptosis. AFM force-distance curve measurements have become a fundamental tool in the fields of surface chemistry, biochemistry and material science. In this study, we observed the morphological and property changes in heart mitochondria which were isolated from rat myocardial infarction model using AFM. From the shape parameters of mitochondria in AFM topography image, it seemed that myocardial infarction caused the mitochondrial swelling. And the results of force-distance measurements showed that the mitochondrial swelling might be related to the destruction of highly crosslinked mitochondrial outer membrane.
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