, Volume 176, Issue 2, pp 93-105
Date: 12 Jan 2006

How might you compare mitochondria from different tissues and different species?

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Mitochondria were isolated from the liver, kidney and mixed hindlimb skeletal muscle of three vertebrate species; the laboratory rat Rattus norvegicus, the bearded dragon lizard Pogona vitticeps, and the cane toad Bufo marinus. These vertebrate species are approximately the same body mass and have similar body temperatures. The content of cytochromes B, C, C1, and A were measured in these isolated mitochondria by oxidised–reduced difference spectra. Adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) was measured by titration of mitochondrial respiration with carboxyactractyloside and the protein and phospholipid content of isolated mitochondria were also measured. Fatty acid composition of mitochondrial phospholipids was measured. Mitochondrial respiration was measured at 37°C under states III and IV conditions as well as during oligomycin inhibition. Species differed in the ratios of different mitochondrial cytochromes. Muscle mitochondria differed from kidney and liver mitochondria by having a higher ANT content relative to cytochrome content. Respiration rates were compared relative to a number of denominators and found to be most variable when expressed relative to mitochondrial protein content and least variable when expressed relative to mitochondrial cytochrome A and ANT content. The turnover of cytochromes was calculated and found to vary between 1 and 94 electrons s−1. The molecular activity of mitochondrial cytochromes was found to be significantly positively correlated with the relative polyunsaturation of mitochondrial membrane lipids.

Communicated by I.D. Hume