Mechanism of uptake of technetium-tetrofosmin. II: Uptake into isolated adult rat heart mitochondria

J Nucl Cardiol. 1995 Jul-Aug;2(4):327-33. doi: 10.1016/s1071-3581(05)80077-7.


Background: 99mTc-labeled tetrofosmin is a new myocardial imaging agent that gives stable heart uptake. However, little is known about the mechanism of uptake in heart tissue. The aim of this study was to assess the factors responsible for the uptake and retention of 99mTc-labeled tetrofosmin in isolated heart mitochondria.

Methods and results: Mitochondria were isolated from adult rat heart tissue with competent metabolic function (i.e., respiratory control ratio of 3 and adenosine diphosphate/oxygen ratio of 2) for succinate oxidation. Intramitochondrial volume measured by the distribution of 3H-water and 14C-sucrose was 1.16 +/- 0.23 microliters/mg protein (mean +/- SD). In the isolated mitochondria, uptake could be demonstrated within 30 seconds of addition of oxidative substrate, but adenosine triphosphate alone did not stimulate marked uptake. Uptake was proportional to the amount of mitochondrial protein over a range of 0.2 to 3 mg protein but independent of Tc-labeled tetrofosmin concentration over a range of 0.4 to 200 pmol/L (0.1 to 50 microCi/ml). The presence of Tc-labeled tetrofosmin had no effect on the oxidative capability of the mitochondria. Use of the mitochondrial uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol caused release of 92% of radioactivity. Addition of Ca2+ to the mitochondria to partially depolarize the membrane resulted in partial release of activity. Application of the Nernst equation to the uptake data gave rise to a value of -163 mV for the mitochondrial membrane potential.

Conclusion: It was concluded that the accumulation of 99mTc-labeled tetrofosmin by the mitochondria is related to their ability to transduce metabolic energy into electronegative membrane potential.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • technetium tc-99m tetrofosmin