Spectrophotometry of b-type cytochromes in rat brain in vivo and in vitro.
Terminal oxidase inhibitors such as cyanide (CN) and carbon monoxide (CO) produce different absorption changes in the intact brain, suggesting different mitochondrial responses to the inhibitors. In the present study, the nature of the cytochromes involved in CO and CN responses in vivo was investigated by low-temperature spectroscopy of rat brain, frozen in situ, and of preparations of brain homogenate and isolated mitochondria. Comparison of the spectra from different preparations at the high resolution afforded by low-temperature spectroscopy indicated that absorption responses to CO in vivo originated from mitochondrial b cytochromes. Further detailed spectral analysis of mitochondrial preparations revealed three CN-insensitive b cytochromes in nonsynaptic brain mitochondria; one cytochrome could be reduced by succinate in the presence of CN, the second could be reduced by succinate plus ATP, and the third could be reduced only by anaerobiosis. The spectral characteristics of the mitochondrial b cytochromes, when compared with spectra from CO-exposed brain tissue frozen in situ, strongly implicated the energy-dependent cytochrome b in the oxidation-reduction (redox) responses caused by CO in vivo.
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