Angular light-scattering studies have been carried out on suspensions of isolated rat liver mitochondria. The angular scatter pattern has a large forward component, typical of large particles. Changes in dissymmetry and in the intensity of light scattered at 90° have been correlated with changes in optical density during the course of mitochondrial swelling and contraction. Such changes can be measured at mitochondrial concentrations much below those required for optical density measurements. Changes in mitochondrial geometry caused by factors "leaking" from mitochondria, not detectable by optical density measurements, have been demonstrated by measuring changes in dissymmetry. Angular light-scattering measurements therefore offer the advantages of increased sensitivity and of added indices of changes in mitochondrial conformation.

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