Mitochondria and Malignant Hyperthermia

  • K. S. Cheah


Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is postulated to be due to a molecular defect in membrane permeability brought about by an enhanced phospholipase A2 activity. This ultimately leads to an increase in the level of sarcoplasmic Ca2+, which is responsible for the muscle hyper-rigidity, enhanced rate of glycolysis, rapid rate of lactate formation and a low pH in MH muscle. Skeletal muscle mitochondria are involved in the development of the MH syndrome by their ability to release Ca2+ faster than normal and to influence the sarcoplasmic reticulum to release additional Ca2+ into the sarcoplasm. This is attributed principally to an enhanced phospholipase A2 activity in the MH-skeletal muscle mitochondria. The enhanced phospholipase A2 activity is due to a significantly higher than normal amount of endogenous calmodulin, Ca2+ and fatty acids in these mitochondria. The enhanced Ca2+-activated phospholipase A2 activity is responsible for the 9°C higher mitochondrial transition temperature, large amplitude mitochondrial swelling and increased sarcoplasmic Ca2+ in porcine MH syndrome.


Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Malignant Hyperthermia Malignant Hyperthermia Muscle Mitochondrion Succinate Oxidation 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. S. Cheah
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural and Food Research CouncilFood Research Institute - BristolBristolUK

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