Intracellular elemental content of cardiac and skeletal muscle of normal and dystrophic hamsters

Nancy K.R. Smith, Sidra S. Morris, Michael R. Richter, Ivan L. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that the genetic lesion causing muscular dystrophy might be reflected in an abnormal intracellular elemental content, the elemental content of individual cardiac and skeletal muscle fibers in 50‐day‐old male control and cardiomyopathic BIO 53.58 hamsters was determined. The technique of electron probe x‐ray microanalysis of freeze‐dried tissue was employed. No electrolyte content differences were found between control and diseased animals for nuclei, myofibrillar cytoplasm, or mitochondrially‐enriched cytoplasm of cardiac myocytes. Sulfur was elevated in dystrophic cardiac myocytes and was the only element significantly different in heart tissue of control and cardiomyopathic animals. Sulfur was also elevated in dystrophic soleus muscle fibers. The pattern of electrolyte content of these cells reflected a mixture of normal cells and damaged cells with altered electrolyte content. In this hamster model, alteration of electrolyte content of myocytes appears to be a result of the disease process and not an inherent characteristic of muscular dystrohy. The elevated sulfur in dystrophic hamster myocytes reflects a biochemical lesion which deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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