Mitochondria isolated from rat hearts perfused with adrenaline, and from hearts excised from adrenaline-treated rats, showed an enhanced rate of respiration-dependent Ca2+ uptake. Adrenaline pretreatment did not change the activity of the Na+/Ca2+-antiporter of isolated heart mitochondria. Simultaneous measurements of the membrane potential revealed that perfusion with adrenaline has no significant effect on this parameter during Ca2+ accumulation. The activation of Ca2+ uptake was induced also by the alpha-adrenergic agonist, methoxamine, but not by the beta-adrenergic agonist, isoprenaline. Methoxamine pretreatment also increased the sensitivity of alpha-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase in intact mitochondria to 10 nM--300 nM extramitochondrial Ca2+ during steady-state Ca2+ recycling across the inner membrane. Possible implications of these data for the adrenergic regulation of oxidative metabolism are discussed.

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