Why the diabetic heart is energy inefficient: A ketogenesis and ketolysis perspective

Paras Kumar Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Lack of glucose uptake compromises metabolic flexibility and reduces energy efficiency in the diabetes mellitus (DM) heart. Although increased use of fatty acid to compensate glucose substrate has been studied, less is known about ketone body metabolism in the DM heart. Ketogenic diet reduces obesity, a risk factor for T2DM. How ketogenic diet affects ketone metabolism in the DM heart remains unclear. At the metabolic level, the DM heart differs from the non-DM heart because of altered metabolic substrate and the T1DM heart differs from the T2DM heart because of insulin levels. How these changes affect ketone body metabolism in the DM heart are poorly understood. Ketogenesis produces ketone bodies by using acetyl-CoA, whereas ketolysis consumes ketone bodies to produce acetyl-CoA, showing their opposite roles in the ketone body metabolism. Cardiac-specific transgenic upregulation of ketogenesis enzyme or knockout of ketolysis enzyme causes metabolic abnormalities leading to cardiac dysfunction. Empirical evidence demonstrates upregulated transcription of ketogenesis enzymes, no change in the levels of ketone body transporters, very high levels of ketone bodies, and reduced expression and activity of ketolysis enzymes in the T1DM heart. Based on these observations, I hypothesize that increased transcription and activity of cardiac ketogenesis enzyme suppresses ketolysis enzyme in the DM heart, which decreases cardiac energy efficiency. The T1DM heart exhibits highly upregulated ketogenesis compared with the T2DM heart because of the lack of insulin, which inhibits ketogenesis enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H751-H755
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Female
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Ketone body
  • Metabolism
  • Randle cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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