Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly recognized and studied as a mediator of heart disease. Extracellular flux analysis (XF) has emerged as a powerful tool to investigate cellular bioenergetics in the context of cardiac health and disease, however its use and interpretation requires improved understanding of the normal metabolic differences in cardiomyocytes (CM) at various stages of maturation. This study standardized XF analyses methods (mitochondrial stress test, glycolytic stress test and palmitate oxidation test) and established age related differences in bioenergetics profiles of healthy CMs at newborn (NB1), weaning (3WK), adult (10WK) and aged (12-18MO) time points. Findings show that immature CMs demonstrate a more robust and sustained glycolytic capacity and a relative inability to oxidize fatty acids when compared to older CMs. The study also highlights the need to recognize the contribution of CO2 from the Krebs cycle as well as lactate from anaerobic glycolysis to the proton production rate before interpreting glycolytic capacity in CMs. Overall, this study demonstrates that caution should be taken to assure that translatable developmental time points are used to investigate mitochondrial dysfunction as a cause of cardiac disease. Specifically, XF analysis of newborn CMs should be reserved to study fetal/neonatal disease and older CMs (≥10 weeks) should be used to investigate adult disease pathogenesis. Knowledge gained will aid in improved investigation of developmentally programmed heart disease and stress the importance of discerning maturational differences in bioenergetics when developing mitochondrial targeted preventative and therapeutic strategies for cardiac disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)