Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

Release of mitochondrial glutathione and calcium by a cyclosporin A-sensitive mechanism occurs without large amplitude swelling.

PMID 7979391


Treatment of isolated mitochondria with calcium and inorganic phosphate induces inner membrane permeability that is thought to be mediated through a non-selective, calcium-dependent pore. The inner membrane permeability results in the rapid efflux of small matrix solutes such as glutathione and calcium, loss of coupled functions, and large amplitude swelling. We have identified conditions of permeability transition without large amplitude swelling, a parameter often used to assess inner membrane permeability. The addition of either oligomycin, antimycin, or sulfide to incubation buffer containing calcium and inorganic phosphate abolished large-amplitude swelling of mitochondria but did not prevent inner membrane permeability as demonstrated by the release of mitochondrial glutathione and calcium. The release of both glutathione and calcium was inhibited by the addition of cyclosporin A, a potent inhibitor of permeability transition. Transmission electron microscopy analysis, combined with the glutathione and calcium release data, indicate that permeability transition can be observed in the absence of large-amplitude swelling. Permeability transition occurring both with and without large-amplitude swelling was accompanied by a collapse of the membrane potential. We conclude that cyclosporin A-sensitive permeability transition can occur without obvious morphological changes such as large-amplitude swelling. Monitoring the cyclosporin A-sensitive release of concentrated endogenous matrix solutes, such as GSH, may be a sensitive and useful indicator of permeability transition.

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