Subcellular Localization of Nickel in the Myocardium

  • Arisztid G. B. Kovach
  • Istvan Balogh
  • Gabor M. Rubanyi


The aim of the study was to analyze uptake of exogenously administered nickel chloride (NiCl2) and redistribution of endogenous nickel under various pathological conditions in myocardial cells by the newly developed dimethylglyoxim electron-cytochemical method. Electron-dense particles are observed in the capillary lumen, endothelial cells, in the cytoplasm and mitochondria of myocardial cells along with ultrastructural damages after perfusion of isolated rat hearts with 1 to 100 μM NiCl2. The presence of nickel in these particles was verified by chloroform-extraction, electron-diffraction and electronprobe microanalysis. Without added NiCl2, similar electron-dense particles and ultrastructural alterations are observed after carbon-monoxide poisoning, hemorrhagic shock and acute burn in rat, dog and human myocardium. Chronic feeding of rabbits with a nickel-rich diet caused nickel accumulation and ultra-structural damages in myocardial cells. It is concluded, that (1) the dimethylglyoxim-method can be used to detect subcellular distribution of nickel and (2) nickel (and other trace metals) may play an important role in cardiomyopathies caused by various pathological conditions.


Hemorrhagic Shock Myocardial Cell Ultrastructural Alteration Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Capillary Lumen 
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. Anke, M., Schneider, N.J., Bruckner, C., 1980, “3rd Spurenelement Symposium on Nickel”, University Press, Jena.Google Scholar
  2. Aranova, A.V., 1973, Certain trace elements in experimental myocardial infarction with hypertension and atherosclerosis in the background, Kardiologia 13: 43–47.Google Scholar
  3. Balogh, I., Rubanyi, G., Kovach, A.G.B., Sotonyi, P., Somogyi, E., 1981, Electron cytochemical detection of nickel ions under pathological conditions in the rat heart, Acta Morph. Acad. Sci. Hung. 29: 87–90.Google Scholar
  4. Balogh, I., Somogyi, E., Rubanyi, G., 1982, Nickel cytochemistry: applicability of a new cytochemical technique in forensic medicine, Acta Med. Leg. Soc. ( Liege ) 32: 459–464.Google Scholar
  5. D’Alonzo, C.A., Pell, S.A., 1963, A study of trace metals in myocardial infarctionArch. Envir. Hlth. 6: 381–389.Google Scholar
  6. Kovach, A.G.B., Balogh, I., Rubanyi, G., 1985, Effects of the elements Ni, V, Coonultrastructure of the heart muscle, in: Proc. 43rd Annual Meeting of the Electron Microscopy Society of America, G.W. Bailey, ed., San Francisco Press, Inc., San Francisco, pp. 94–97.Google Scholar
  7. McNeely, M.D., Sunderman, F.W., Jr., Nechay, M.W., Levine, H., 1971, Abnormal concentrations of nickel in serum in cases of myocardial infarction, stroke, burns, hepatic cirrhosis and uremia, Clin. Chem. 17: 1123–1128.Google Scholar
  8. Rubanyi, G., Kovach, A.G.B., 1980, Cardiovascular actions of nickel ions, Acta Physiol. Hung. 55: 345–353.Google Scholar
  9. Rubanyi, G., Balogh, I., Somogyi, E., Kovach, A.G.B., Sotonyi, P., 1980a, Effect of nickel ions on ultrastructure of isolated perfused rat heart, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 12: 609–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rubanyi, G., Koltay, E., Dora, T., Balogh, I., Kovach, A., Somogyi, E., 1980b, Effect of hemorrhagic shock on mechanical activity, 02-consumption and ultrastructure of isolated rat heart, Circ. Shock, 7: 59–71.Google Scholar
  11. Rubanyi, G., 1981, Control of coronary vascular tone in hemorrhagic shock, in: “Injury and shock”, Biro, S., Kovach, A.G.B., Spitzer, J.J., Stoner, H.B., Adv. Physiol. Sci., vol. 26; Pergamon Press, Oxford/Akademiai Kiado, Budapest, pp. 99–108.Google Scholar
  12. Rubanyi, G., Ligeti, L., Koller A., 1981a, Nickel is released from the ischemic myocardium and contracts coronary vessels by a Ca-dependent mechanism, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 13: 1023–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rubanyi, G., Ligeti, L., Koller, A., Bakos, M., Gergely, A., Kovach, A.G.B., 1981b, Physiological and pathological significance of nickel ions in the regulation of coronary vascular tone, Adv. Physiol. Sci., vol. 27, Szentivanyi, I., Juhasz-Nagy, S., eds., Pergamon Press, Oxford/Akademiai Kiado, Budapest, pp. 133–154.Google Scholar
  14. Rubanyi, G., Kalabay, L., Pataki, T., Hajdu, K., 1982, Nickel stimulates isolated canine coronary artery contraction by a tonic calcium activation mechanism, Acta Physiol. Hung. 59: 155–160.Google Scholar
  15. Rubanyi, G., Szabo, K., Balogh, I., Bakos, M., Gergely, A., 1983, Endogenous nickel release as a possible cause of coronary vasoconstriction and myocardial injury in acute burn of rats, Circ. Shock, 10: 361–370.Google Scholar
  16. Rubanyi, G., Ligeti, L., Koller, A., 1984a, Possible role of nickel ions in ischemic coronary vasospasm in the dog heart, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol.Google Scholar
  17. Rubanyi, G., Ligeti, L., Koller, A., Kovach, A.G.B., 1984b, Nickel ions and ischemic coronary vasoconstriction, in: “Vasodilator Mechanisms”; Vanhoutte, P.M., Vatner, S., eds., Karger, Basel, pp. 200–208.Google Scholar
  18. Sunderman, F.W., Jr., 1977, A review of the metabolism and toxicology of nickel. Ann. Clin. Lab. Sci. 7: 377–398.Google Scholar
  19. Tarala, G.T., 1970, The content of zinc, copper, nickel, manganese, lead and silver in the blood of patients with angina pectoris at different stages of the disease, Kardiologia, 10: 146–147.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arisztid G. B. Kovach
    • 1
  • Istvan Balogh
    • 1
  • Gabor M. Rubanyi
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and Forensic MedicineSemmelweis Medical UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations