Myocyte injury by hemin

V. Bhoite-Solomon, G. Kessler-Icekson, N. Shaklai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effects of free hemin on myocardium were investigated using a model of neonatal myocyte primary cultures. Cells were subjected to free hemin at concentrations up to 20 µM and equilibrated for 5 h at 37° C. Distribution of hemin in media, cell sarcolemma, and cell interior was evaluated. Time-dependent reduction in beating rate was monitored throughout the entire concentration range of administrated hemin. With time and in a hemin concentration-dependent manner, arrhythmic beatings which were followed by loss of contractility were observed. In parallel, morphologic changes appeared from granulation to complete loss of cell integrity. At the concentration range studied, hemin also induced a biphasic release of cytosolic enzymes. In the first phase, the fraction of enzyme released was dependent of the ratio of hemin:cells and was correlated with the amount of nonviable cells as monitored by a trypan blue test. In the second phase, the fraction of released enzyme was much larger than that of nonviable cells. The data are interpreted as an indication of complete loss of cytosolic content due to sarcolemma damage in first phase and partial damage to cell interior in the prolonged second phase. It is concluded that in similarity with other amphipathic molecules, free hemin is toxic to the myocardium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1993


  • beating activity
  • cell injury
  • enzyme release
  • hemin
  • myocardium


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