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Effect of dimethyl sulfoxide on enlarged hearts of copper-deficient rats

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the nature of the protective effect of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on hearts of copper-deficient (CuD) rats. Male, weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were fed, in a two-way design, CuD (0.45 μg/g) or copper-sufficient (CuS, 5.4 μg/g) diets with or without 5% DMSO in their drinking water. After 28 d, CuD rats showed typical signs of copper deficiency, including reduced liver and heart Cu, enlarged hearts, and anemia. DMSO-treated, CuD rats had lower heart weights and higher hematocrits than CuD rats. DMSO enhanced organ Cu concentrations in CuS, but not in CuD rats. TEM of CuD hearts showed myofibrillar distortion and enlarged, vacuolated mitochondria with fragmented cristae; morphometric measurements indicated an enhanced mitochondrial/myofibrillar ratio (mito/myo), but an increase of both mitochondrial and myofibrillar mass relative to CuS hearts. Compared to CuD hearts, DMSO-treated CuD hearts showed better mitochondrial morphology and myofibrillar organization, as well as a greater mito/myo, but lower mitochondrial and myofibrillar masses. Its function as a hydroxyl radical scavenger indicates that DMSO could protect CuD hearts, in particular their mitochondria, against oxidative damage. However, because measurements of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were not consistent with this theory, other metabolic mechanisms, direct and indirect, must be examined.

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Saari, J.T., Medeiros, D.M. Effect of dimethyl sulfoxide on enlarged hearts of copper-deficient rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 31, 249–263 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02990195

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02990195

Index Entries

  • Copper deficiency
  • dimethyl sulfoxide
  • DMSO
  • heart
  • myocardium
  • mitochondria
  • electron microscopy
  • peroxidation
  • free radicals