Determination of carbon monoxide (CO) in rodent tissue: Effect of heme administration and environmental CO exposure

Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
Analytical Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 2.31). 07/2005; 341(2):280-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.ab.2005.03.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Carbon monoxide (CO), produced endogenously during heme degradation, is considered a messenger molecule in vascular and neurologic tissues. To study this role, it is important to determine CO concentration in target tissues pre- and post-perturbations. Here, we describe a sensitive and reproducible method, which is linear and accurate, and provide some examples of its application for quantitation of CO concentrations in tissues pre- and post-perturbations. Tissues from adult rats and mice were sonicated (20% w/w), and volumes representing 0.04-8 mg fresh weight (FW) were incubated at 0 degrees C for 30 min with sulfosalicylic acid. CO liberated into the headspace was quantitated by gas chromatography. Tissue CO concentrations (mean+/-SD, pmol CO/mg FW) were as follows: blood (47+/-10, 45+/-5), muscle (4+/-4, 10+/-1), kidney (5+/-2, 7+/-2), heart (6+/-3, 6+/-1), spleen (11+/-3, 6+/-1), liver (4+/-1, 5+/-1), intestine (2+/-1, 4+/-2), lung (2+/-1, 3+/-1), testes (1+/-1, 2+/-1), and brain (2+/-1, 2+/-0) in untreated rat (n=3) and mouse (n=5), respectively. Between the rat and the mouse, only CO concentrations in the muscle and spleen were significantly different (p0.05). Endogenous CO generation, after administration of heme arginate to mice (n=3), increased CO concentrations by 0-43 pmol/mg FW. Exposure of mice (n=3) to 500 ppm CO for 30 min yielded significantly elevated CO concentrations by 4-2603 pmol/mg FW in all tissues over the native state. While blood had the highest CO concentration for all conditions, muscle, kidney, heart, spleen, and liver, all rich in hemoglobin and/or other CO-binding hemoproteins, also contained substantial CO concentrations. Intestine, lung, testes, and brain contained the lowest CO concentrations.