Biochemical correlates of cardiac hypertrophy. III. Changes in DNA content. The relative contributions of polyploidy and mitotic activity


DNA concentration in the left ventricle of 3-month-old rats 3 to 12 days after aortic constriction was similar to the values obtained in sham-operated litter mates (1.38±0.03 µg/mg wet weight). The total DNA content of the heart was thus increased proportionally to its enlargement. In chronic hypertrophy (2 to 4 months after aortic constriction), the DNA content was increased to a significantly less extent than in short-term hypertrophy. The percentage of polyploid nuclei in 12- to 13-week-old rats increased 1 to 3 weeks after aortic constriction from a normal value of 1.8% to 4.2%. In 17- to 18-week-old rats, polyploidy was present in 3.9% of the nuclei 10 days after banding as compared with 1.6% in normal rats. Mitotic figures were localized almost exclusively outside muscle cells. Mitotic indices in hypertrophied hearts were ten times higher than in controls during the first 3 weeks after aortic constriction

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