The effect of exogenous cytochrome c on respiration rate of the rat and human heart mitochondria was assessed in situ, using permeabilized fibers. It was (i) much more pronounced in State 2 and 4 than in State 3 with all the respiratory substrates (pyruvate+malate, succinate, palmitoyl-CoA+carnitine and octanoyl-L-carnitine), (ii) different with different substrates, (iii) much higher after ischemia in both metabolic states, particularly in the case of succinate oxidation compared to pyruvate+malate, (iv) the highest in State 4 with succinate as a substrate. Similar results were obtained with the isolated rat and rabbit heart mitochondria. The differences in the degree of stimulation of mitochondrial respiration by cytochrome c and, thus, sensitivity of cytochrome c test in evaluation of the intactness/injury of outer mitochondrial membrane are probably determined by the differences in the cytochrome c role in the control of mitochondrial respiration in the above-described conditions.

Abbreviations OMM, outer mitochondrial membrane; IMM, inner mitochondrial membrane; ATR, atractyloside; CCCP, carbonyl cyanide-m-chlorophenyl hydrazone

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