The levels of creatine phosphate, purine, and pyridine nucleotides in tissues provide important information on energetic and oxidative cellular states. Nevertheless, technical, theoretical, and methodological difficulties in extraction and quantification procedures have so far limited our understanding of the exact role that these substances play in metabolic processes which take place in cells. The objective of our study was to find an easy and rapid method for extracting, separating, and quantifying creatine phosphate, purine, and pyridine nucleotides in solid tissues. We adapted the classic acid-extraction procedure with HClO4 for purine and oxidized pyridine nucleotides and then developed a new alkaline extraction with phenol in a phosphate buffer solution (pH 7.8) for reduced pyridine nucleotides. Biopsies of myocardial tissue were frozen and ground at -180 degrees C using the appropriate extraction procedure. The separation and quantification of the metabolites were performed using a reversed-phase 3-microns Supelchem C18 column, with the addition of tetrabutylammonium as an ion-pair agent to the buffer solution, by ultraviolet detection. The recovery of the external and internal standards always exceeded 90\%. The autooxidation or interconversion processes were almost insignificant for each reduced form. This technique allowed us to avoid complex enzymatic procedures and difficulties in the selective assay of pyridine nucleotides with chemiluminescence and surface spectroscopy.
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