Copper deficiency alters collagen types and covalent cross-linking in swine myocardium and cardiac valves

Am J Physiol. 1993 Jun;264(6 Pt 2):H2154-61. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1993.264.6.H2154.


Dietary copper deficiency induces alterations of connective tissue metabolism that are associated with lesions in cardiovascular and other organ systems. To determine the impact of copper deficiency on characteristics of collagen in porcine myocardium and cardiac valves, weaned pigs were fed diets with adequate or deficient levels of copper. Although dietary copper did not affect the concentration of collagen in either myocardium or bicuspid valves, the degree of collagen cross-linking, as assessed by the level of hydroxylysylpyridinoline, was lower in both tissues of copper-deficient pigs. Proportions of type III collagen were increased in the left ventricle and bicuspid valves of copper-deficient pigs. Copper deficiency induced extensive remodeling, however, of the collagen fraction of cardiac interstitium. Reduction in left ventricular collagen cross-linking may provide the stimulus for the development of cardiac hypertrophy, which characterizes severe copper deficiency, by increasing the compliance of the ventricular wall. The shift in the phenotypic profile of collagen that is associated with this cardiac hypertrophy indicates synthesis of new collagen, which could affect collagen cross-linking irrespective of copper status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Copper / deficiency*
  • Heart Valves / metabolism*
  • Heart Valves / pathology
  • Heart Valves / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Swine


  • Copper
  • Collagen