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Cardiac mitochondria were isolated from Bufo marinus and Rana catesbeiana, two species of amphibian whose cardiovascular systems are adapted to either predominantly aerobic or glycolytic modes of locomotion. Mitochondrial oxidative capacity was compared using VO2 max and respiratory control ratios in the presence of a variety of substrates including pyruvate, lactate, oxaloacetate, b-hydroxybutyrate, and octanoyl-carnitine. B. marinus cardiac mitochondria exhibited VO2 max values twice that of R. catesbeiana cardiac mitochondria when oxidizing carbohydrate substrates. Pyruvate transport was measured via a radiolabeled-tracer assay in isolated B. marinus and R. catesbeiana cardiac mitochondria. Time-course experiments described both a-cyano-4- hydroxycinnamate-sensitive (MCT-like) and phenylsuccinate-sensitive pyruvate uptake mechanisms in both species. Pyruvate uptake by the MCT-like transporter was enhanced in the presence of a pH gradient, whereas the phenylsuccinate-sensitive transporter was inhibited. Notably, anuran cardiac mitochondria exhibited activities of lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate carboxylase. The presence of both transporters on the inner mitochondrial membrane affords the net uptake of monocarboxylates including pyruvate, b-hydroxybutyrate, and lactate; the latter potentially indicating the presence of a lactate/pyruvate shuttle allowing oxidation of extramitochondrial NADH. Intramitochondrial lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate carboxylase enables lactate to be oxidized to pyruvate or converted to anaplerotic oxaloacetate. Kinetics of the MCT-like transporter differed significantly between the two species, suggesting differences in aerobic scope may be in part attributable to differences in mitochondrial carbohydrate utilization.


Previously published in Journal of Experimental Zoology A, Volume 307 A, Issue 8, 1 August 2007, Pages 425-438

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