6-Hydroxydopamine mediated cardiotoxicity in rabbits

Keith G Lurie, M. R. Bristow, W. A. Minobe, M. Masek, M. E. Billingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Weekly injections of the catecholamine depleting agent 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) were used to denervate rabbit hearts chemically. Analyses of morphology and β-adrenergic receptor density were made at 1, 2, and 4 weeks. Changes resulting from subacute and chronic inflammatory processes were evident by light microscopy after 1 week. At that time, electron microscopy revealed marked increases in collagen, large myocytic vacuolizations in myocytes, widened gap junctions, and myofibrillar degeneration and dropout. Receptor density was marginally increased at 2 weeks but was decreased (p<.05) at 4 weeks (maximal [3H]dihydroalprenolol (DHA) binding in fmol/mg: 69.6 ± 5.4 in controls vs 49.2 ± 5.1 in 6-OHDA-treated animals). Basal, isoproterenol-stimulated and F--stimulated adenylate cyclase activities were decreased in the 6-OHDA-treated group at 4 weeks. We conclude that administration of 6-OHDA may cause severe myocardial damage, and that this process may involve loss of some functional components of the cell membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiovascular Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


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