Sarcolemmal phosphatidylethanolamine reorganization during simulated ischaemia and reperfusion: Reversibility and ATP dependency

René J.Ph Musters, Elke Pröbstl-Biegelmann, Toon A.B. Van Veen, Kasper H.N. Hoebe, Jos A.F. Op den Kamp, Arie J. Verkleij, Jan A. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Exposure of cultured neonatal rat heart cells to simulated ischaemia results in a cessation of the spontaneous contractile activity and changes at both the level of sarcolemmal phospholipid topology and the ultrastructural level. Reperfusion at a timepoint before irreversible cell damage develops leads to a recovery of contractile activity. Furthermore, the shift in transbilayer distribution of sarcolemmal phosphatidylethanolamine in favour of the outer membrane leaflet, due to the ischaemic period, is reversed during subsequent reperfusion. Also the morphological changes (mitochondrial oedema, reorganization of the mitochondrial cristae and the formation of extrusions at the sarcolemma) are reversible. At the same time total intracellular ATP levels are restored to 80% of central. The role of cellular ATP content on sarcolemmal phospholipid topology was further studied by the use of the calcium antagonist verapamil (10 μM), which preserved cellular ATP content by inhibiting cell contractility before the onset of ischaemia. After 120 min of ischaemia, cell ATP content was still 63% of control in the presence of verapamil, versus 20% of control in untreated cells. Verapamil treatment also prevented the lass of the asymmetrical distribution of phosphatidylethanolamine and sarcolemmal disruption, the latter occurring during 120 min of ischaemia in untreated cells. It is proposed that maintenance of phospholipid asymmetry of the sarcolemma of the myocytes depends on the cellular ATP concentrations, indicating the involvement of an ATP dependent aminophospholipid translocase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Membrane Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Cultured neonatal rat heart cells
  • Morphology
  • Phospholipid asymmetry
  • Reversibility
  • Sarcolemma
  • Simulated ischaemia/reperfusion


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