The effects of Reye's plasma, allantoin, and salicylates on mitochondrial structure and Ca2+transport have been investigated. Measurements of Ca2+transport showed that when 20-30 μM Ca2+was added to isolated rat liver mitochondria preincubated with one of these agents, Ca2+uptake was followed by its spontaneous release into the medium. This was accompanied by large-amplitude swelling; the onset preceded the Ca2+release. No further Ca2+release was induced by uncoupler or the Ca2+ionophore, A23187. The mitochondria continued to swell even after all of the Ca2+had been released. The time between the addition of Ca2+and the onset of swelling (or Ca2+release) depended on the concentration of the agent added and the preincubation time; the extent of swelling did not. These effects were prevented, but not reversed, by ethylene glycol bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N′-tetraacetic acid, ruthenium red, rotenone, or adenine nucleotides. The massive swelling and membrane disruption were confirmed by electron microscopy of the treated vs untreated mitochondria. Similar results concerning swelling and Ca2+release were also seen with Ca2+alone, but the time scale was much longer (i.e., >3-4 min), indicating that these agents act by potentiating Ca2+-induced alterations in mitochondrial structure, as suggested by our earlier work (T. Y. Segalman and C. P. Lee (1982) Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 214, 522-530; M. E. Martens and C. P. Lee (1984) Biochem. Pharmacol. 33, 2869-2876). Our data show, therefore, that allantoin, salicylates, and the "toxic" agent in Reye's plasma severely limit the ability of isolated rat liver mitochondria to maintain their structural integrity under conditions of limited Ca2+loading. © 1986.
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