, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 64–67 | Cite as

The effect of age on the regional distribution of four cations in the rat heart

  • Steven I. Baskin
  • Francis J. Uricchio
  • Zebulon V. Kendrick


It has been postulated that the concentration of metals in the heart influences the activity of enzymes and ultimately, cardiac function. In this investigation, the regional distribution of Calcium [Ca], Magnesium [Mg], Copper [Cu] and Zinc [Zn] was analyzed in the hearts of Fischer 344 rats (1, 3, 12, 24 months of age). Samples of right and left atria (RA, LA), right and left ventricles (RV, LV), and septum (S) were homogenized in 5% La, 25% HNOs. The samples were digested, centrifuged, and assayed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. [Ca] Increased in the RA, LA and LV from 3 to 24 months of age. [Mg] In the RV, LV and S decreased throughout the age span. [CU] in the LV decreased between 3 and 12 months of age, while [Zn] remained constant. The Zn:Cu increased by 56 percent between 3 and 24 months of age. In summary, these data suggest that there are differences in the concentration of metals in the heart as a function of age.


Calcium Copper Zinc Magnesium Left Ventricle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Blumenthal, H.T.: Athero-arteriosclerosis as an aging phenomenon, in The Physiology and Pathology of Human Aging, edited by Goldman, R. and Rochstein, M., New York, Academic Press, 1975, pp. 123–147.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berg, B.N., and Harmison, C.R.: Blood pressure and heart size in aging rats. J. Gerontol., 10: 416–419, 1955.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    Cheraskin, E., and Ringsdorf, W.M.: Younger at heart: a study of the P-R interval. J. Amer. Geriatric Soc., 19: 271–275, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Lakatta, E.G., Gerstenblith, G., Angell, C.S., Shock, N.W., and Weisfeldt, M.L.: Prolonged contraction duration in aged myocardium. J. Clin. Invest., 55: 61–68, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Roberts, J. and Goldberg, P.B.: Changes in cardiac membranes as a function of age with particular emphasis on reactivity to drugs, in Exploration in Aging, edited by Cristofalo, V.J., Roberts, J., and Adelman, R.C., New York, Plenum Press, 1975, pp. 119–148.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Roberts, J. and Goldberg, P.B.: Changes in basic cardiovascular activities during the lifetime of the rat. Exper. Aging Res., 2: 487–517, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shock, N.W.: Physiological aspects of aging in man. Ann. Rev. Physiol., 23: 97–122, 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Weisfeldt, M.L., Loeven, W.A., and Shock, N.W.: Resting and active mechanical properties of tuberculae carnae from aged male rats. Amer. J. Physiol., 220: 1921–1927, 1971.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goldberg, P.B., Baskin, S.I. and Roberts, J.: Effect of aging on ionic movements of atrial muscle, in Biology of Aging, edited by G.J. Thorbecke, New York, Plenum Press, 1975, pp. 325–330.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    McBroom, M.J., and Weiss, A.K.: A logitudinal and comparative study of the soft tissue calcium levels throughout the lifespan of highly inbred rats. J. Gerontol., 28: 143–151, 1973.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cavoto, F.V., Kelliher, G.J., and Roberts, J.: Electrophysiological changes in the rat atrium with age. Amer. J. Physiol., 226: 1293–1297, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Griffith, G.C.: Ions and their relationship to heart muscle: a general survey of ion concentration. Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 72: 390–395, 1959.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Muntz, J.A.: Effect of ions on the activity of enzymes derived from cardiac tissue. Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 72: 415–426, 1959.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Walser, M.: Magnesium metabolism. Rev. Physiol. Biochem. Experiment. Pharmacol., 59: 185–341, 1967.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fleckenstein, A.:specific inhibitors and promoters of calcium action in the excitation-contraction coupling of heart muscle and their role in the prevention or production of myocardial lesions, in Calcium and the Heart, edited by Harris, P., and Opie, L., New York, Academic Press, 1971, pp. 135–188.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Katz, A.M.: Contractile proteins of the heart. Physiol. Rev., 50: 63–158, 1976.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wantanabe, S., and Yasui, T.: Effect of magnesium and calcium on the super-precipitation of myosin B. J. Biol. Chem., 240: 105–111, 1965.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Friedan, E.: The biochemistry of copper. Scientific American, 218:No. 5, 103–114, 1968.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sanadi, D.R.: Decline of respiratory activity of myocardial mitochondria in senescence, in Recent Advances in Studies on Cardiac Structure and Metabolism, Vol. 3, Myocardial Metabolism, edited by Dhalla, N.S., Baltimore, University Park Press, 1973, pp. 91–96.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Prakash, R.: The heart of the rat with special reference to the conducting system. Amer. Heart J., 47: 241–251, 1954.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Froelich, J.P., Lakatta, E.G., Beard, E., Spingen, H.H., Weisfeldt, M.L., and Gerstenblith, G.: Studies of sarcoplasmic reticulum function and contraction duration in young adult and aged rat myocardium. J. Mol. Cell, Cardiol., 10: 427–438, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Elinder, C.G., Piscator, M., and Linnman, L.: Cdmium and zinc relationship in kidney cortex, liver, and pancreas. Environ. Res., 13: 432–440, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Webb, J., Kirk, K.A., Niedermeirer, W., Griggs, J.H., Turner, M.E., and James, T.N.: Distribution of 13 trace metals in pig heart tissue. Bioinorg. Chem., 3: 61–75, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Coleman, G.L., Barthold, S.W., Osbaldiston, G.W., Foster, S.J., and Jones, A.M.: Pathological changes during aging in barrier reared Fischer 344 male rats. J. Gerontol., 32: 258–278, 1977.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Baskin, S.l., Dutta, S., and Marks, B.H.: The effect of diphenylhydantoin and potassium on the biological activity of ouabain in the guinea pig heart. Brit. J. Pharmacol., 47: 85–96, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven I. Baskin
    • 1
  • Francis J. Uricchio
    • 1
  • Zebulon V. Kendrick
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyThe Medical College of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Biokinetics Research LaboratoryTemple UniversityPhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations