Oxygen radical injury in the immature isolated rabbit heart

Mark D Parrish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We speculated that the increased vulnerability of the immature rabbit heart to global ischemia might be due to an increased susceptibility to free radical injury. To evaluate this, we exposed newborn (age 2.4 ± 0.3 days, n=20) (mean ± SEM), juvenile (2 to 3 weeks, mean 16.6 ± 0.5 days, n=20), and adult (5 to 7 months old, n=20) isolated, idovolumic, Krebs perfused rabbit hearts to oxygen radicals or cumene hydroperoxide. Control hearts showed no deterioration in left ventricular developed pressure over 60 min (newborns = 104 ± 11%, juveniles = 101 ± 7%, and adults = 113 ± 12% of baseline, n=5 for each age group). After only 30 min of oxygen radical exposure, the newborn group developed pressure decreased to 49 ± 6% of the baseline value, while juveniles and adults were functioning at 70 ± 10% and 83 ± 6% of baseline, respectively (n=10 for each age group) (P<0.05, newborn different from adult group). In contrast to the oxygen radical protocol, the hearts exposed to cumene hydroperoxide showed no significant difference between the age groups in deterioration of left ventricular function. There was no significant difference between the age groups in ATP content or thiobarbituric reactive substances following the oxygen radical exposure. We conclude that the newborn rabbit heart is significantly more vulnerable than the adult heart to the toxic effects of oxygen radicais. This may account, in part, for age related differences in response to global ischemia and reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Physiology


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