Electron microscopic and microcirculatory effects of hyperosmolal mannitol were evaluated in the isolated perfused isovolumic rat heart. Specimens for ultrastructural examination were obtained in 26 experiemnts after 15 min of sequential aerobic, anoxic, and reoxygenated perfusion using an isosmolal perfusate of Krebs-Ringer-Henseleit bicarbonate buffer (KRB) (osmolality equals 290 mosmol/kg) vs. a hyperosmolal solution of KRB + mannitol (equals 350 mosmol/kg). No significant changes were noted during aerobic perfusion. Anoxic hearts perfused with isosmolal KRB demonstrated the most severe ultrastructural alterations including: mitochondrial swelling with disruption of cristae, myofibrillar fusion and contraction bands, and subsarcolemmal edema and vacuolization. These subcellular changes were not only partially reversed by oxygenated isosmolal perfusion but were significantly reversed during both the anoxic and reoxygenation perfusion periods with mannitol added. Following silicone rubber injection of the microcirculation, only focal capillary endothelial cell swelling was noted, and no difference in arteriolar or capillary filling was observed with either perfusate. Thus, mannitol significantly reversed the postanoxic ultrastructural changes consistently observed in the absence of increased osmolality. No gross effect on vascular patency could be demonstrated.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Physiological Society