We studied the oxygen diffusion distance in the rabbit myocardium in untreated animals and in animals treated with thyroxine (T4) for 3 days and 16 days. The subepicardial and subendocardial regions were studied separately. Sixteen days of T4 treatment results in significant cardiac hypertrophy. After 16 days, the percentage of the myocardium occupied by myocytes decreases as the volume of extracellular matrix increases. After 3 days, the number of myocyte mitochondria per unit volume of myocardium increases without an increase in mitochondrial volume. After 16 days the volume density of the myocyte mitochondria increases. Oxygen diffusion distance was determined by measuring the distance between the myocardial capillaries and the cardiomyocyte mitochondria. The deposition of extracellular matrix results in an increase in the distance between the myocardial capillaries and the myocytes. The distribution of the mitochondria within the myocytes remains unchanged resulting in an increased distance between the capillaries and the mitochondria, hence, an increased oxygen diffusion distance. There is some evidence that the mitochondria most distant from the capillaries are the mitochondria in which division is most frequent with T4 stimulation. This may be related to the relative deprivation of oxygen of these mitochondria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Myocardial hypertrophy