Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Cardiac arrest is a prevalent condition with a poor prognosis, attributable in part to persistent myocardial dysfunction following resuscitation. The molecular basis of this dysfunction remains unclear. We induced cardiac arrest in a porcine model of acute sudden death and assessed the impact of ischemia and reperfusion on the molecular function of isolated cardiac contractile proteins. Cardiac arrest was electrically induced, left untreated for 12 min, and followed by a resuscitation protocol. With successful resuscitations, the heart was reperfused for 2 h (IR2) and the muscle harvested. In failed resuscitations, tissue samples were taken following the failed efforts (IDNR). Actin filament velocity, using myosin isolated from IR2 or IDNR cardiac tissue, was nearly identical to myosin from the control tissue in a motility assay. However, both maximal velocity (25% faster than control) and Ca2+ sensitivity (pCa50 6.57 ± 0.04 IDNR vs. 6.34 ± 0.07 control) were significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced using native thin filaments (actin, troponin, and tropomyosin) from IDNR samples, suggesting that the enhanced velocity is mediated through an alteration in muscle regulatory proteins (troponin and tropomyosin). Mass spectrometry analysis showed that only samples from the IR2 had an increase in total phosphorylation levels of troponin (Tn) and tropomyosin (Tm), but both IR2 and IDNR samples demonstrated a significant shift from mono-phosphorylated to bis-phosphorylated forms of the inhibitory subunit of Tn (TnI) compared to control. This suggests that the shift to bis-phosphorylation of TnI is associated with the enhanced function in IDNR, but this effect may be attenuated when phosphorylation of Tm is increased in tandem, as was observed for IR2. There are likely many other molecular changes induced following cardiac arrest, but to our knowledge, these data provide the first evidence that this form cardiac arrest can alter the in vitro function of the cardiac contractile proteins.

First Advisor

Edward P Debold