Changes in the morphology of rat liver mitochondria brought about by different methods of isolation and the concomitant changes in ATP-ase activity were studied. The morphology was investigated with the electron microscope. It was found that the ATP-ase activity of the isolated mitochondria cannot be readily correlated with the morphology of the mitochondria. The ATP-ase found in these preparations was latent, resembling the enzyme described in mitochondria prepared in 0.25 M sucrose. In confirmation of earlier results the use of 0.88 M sucrose yielded preparations with a higher initial ATP-ase than did other methods. Preparation in 0.25 M sucrose resulted in round, swollen mitochondria of which 30 to 40 per cent appeared to have lost a substantial part of the mitochondrial matrix. Preparations in 0.44 to 0.88 M sucrose contained mainly rod-shaped mitochondria plus a small amount of another type of swollen mitochondria. The matrix of mitochondria isolated in 0.88 M sucrose was highly condensed. By the use of 0.44 M sucrose adjusted to pH 6.2 with citric acid, it was possible to isolate, for the first time, mitochondria closely resembling those in situ and containing latent ATP-ase.

This content is only available as a PDF.