Cellular Mechanisms of Normal Growth in the Mammalian Heart: II. A Quantitative and Qualitative Comparison between the Right and Left Ventricular Myocytes in the Dog from Birth to Five Months of Age

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Abstract

SUMMARY

This paper describes and contrasts the changes in myocytes taken from the right and left ventricles of dog heart over the first 5 months of life. The development of the two populations of cells differs in important respects: sarcomeric volume, the proportion of the myocyte occupied by the contractile apparatus, and the volume and surface area of the transverse tubular system all were greater on the average in the left than in the right ventricle (P < 0.001). Other intracellular structures also changed significantly as development progressed, but did so in both chambers; the surface area and surface-to-volume (s/v) ratio of both right and left ventricular myocytes increased with age (P < 0.001) as did mitochondrial and mitochondrial-myocyte volume (P < 0.001). The surface area (P < 0.01) and the s/v ratio of the mitochondria (P< 0.001) also increased with development. Nuclear and nuclearmyocyte volume grew smaller with age in both chambers (P < 0.002), as did the surface area (P < 0.001) and the s/v ratio of the nucleus (P < 0.01). Not only does myocyte composition change quantitatively, striking changes in intracellular architecture and the appearance and arrangement of intracellular organelles occur during postnatal life. cire Res 44: 263-279, 1979

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