, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 467–473 | Cite as

Immunofluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy of desmin in isolated adult heart myocytes of the rat

  • T. Saetersdal
  • H. Dalen
  • J. Røli


Isolated myocytes of the adult mammalian heart are useful for studying cytoskeletal changes during development of irreversible myocardial injuries. Using monoclonal antibodies we have studied the structural organization of desmin in freshly isolated cardiomyocytes from rat hearts. This preparation consists of approximately 85% calcium tolerant rod shaped cells and 15% contracted “square cells” and ”round cells” that were initially injured during separation. Cells were quick-frozen at −196° C without any chemical stabilization, cryosectioned and then further processed for immunofluorescence or immunoelectron microscopy. Freshly isolated rod shaped cells exhibit the specific pattern of interfibrillar desmin organization of striated musele. Furthermore, high resolution immunogold preparations show that desmin in the rod cells occurs in apposition to the edges of the Z-bands as well as closely associated with the plasmalemma. We could find no evidence for the presence of desmin within the Z-band plaques. This organization of desmin is completely absent in the contracted round cells. Thus, already at advanced stages of square cell development, desmin is almost entirely confined to the outer areas of the central filamentous core. We conclude that during the process of square cell contracture, the filamentous desmin contacts with Z-bands and sarcolemma are broken, leading to the unorganized array of desmin in round cells.


Structural Organization Chemical Stabilization Cell Development Specific Pattern Myocardial Injury 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Saetersdal
    • 1
  • H. Dalen
    • 2
  • J. Røli
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of AnafomyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Laboratory of Clinical Electron MicroscopyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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