, Volume 253, Issue 3, pp 619-624

Nuclear characteristics of cardiac myocytes following the proliferative response to mincing of the myocardium in the adult newt, Notophthalmus viridescens

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Amphibian cardiac myocytes are predominantly mononucleated and have been demonstrated to respond to injury with DNA synthesis and mitosis. The nature of this response with regard to nuclear number and ploidy is unclear. In this study, the apex of the newt ventricle was minced and replaced, increasing the reactive area of the wound. At 45 days after mincing following multiple injections of tritiated thymidine (2.5-μCi/animal, 20 Ci/mM) 15 to 20 days after mincing, three ventricular zones were isolated and fixed: Zone 1, the minced area; Zone 2, extending approximately 500 μm proximally from the amputation plane; and Zone 3, the portion proximal to Zone 2. Myocytes separated in 50% KOH were examined for DNA synthesis by autoradiography and for nuclear number and DNA content using a scanning microdensitometer on Feulgen-Naphthol yellow S-stained cells. No labeled myocyte nuclei were found in control hearts and 98.3% of the myocytes were 2C. At 45 days, 46.78% of myocyte nuclei within Zone 1 were labeled, while 13% were non-diploid. In Zone 2, 9.25% were labeled with 4.8% non-diploid. In Zone 3, 1.1% were labeled, with 2.8% non-diploid. The newt ventricle's response to injury apparently may involve complete mitosis and cytokinesis, resulting in mononucleated diploid cells.