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In vivo [U-13C]glucose labeling to assess heart metabolism in murine models of pressure and volume overload

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Moritz Schnelle, Mei Chong, Anna Zoccarato, Manar Elkenani, Greta Jane Sawyer, Gerd Hasenfuss, Christian Ludwig, Ajay M. Shah

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H422-H431
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
Issue number2
Published1 Aug 2020

King's Authors


Alterations in the metabolism of substrates such as glucose are integrally linked to the structural and functional changes that occur in the remodeling heart. Assessment of such metabolic changes under in vivo conditions would provide important insights into this interrelationship. We aimed to investigate glucose carbon metabolism in pressure-overload and volume-overload cardiac hypertrophy by using an in vivo [U-13C]glucose labeling strategy to enable analyses of the metabolic fates of glucose carbons in the mouse heart. Therefore, [U-13C]glucose was administered in anesthetized mice by tail vein infusion, and the optimal duration of infusion was established. Hearts were then excised for 13C metabolite isotopomer analysis by NMR spectroscopy. [U-13C]glucose infusions were performed in mice 2 wk following transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or aortocaval fistula (Shunt) surgery. At this time point, there were similar increases in left ventricular (LV) mass in both groups, but TAC resulted in concentric hypertrophy with impaired LV function, whereas Shunt caused eccentric hypertrophy with preserved LV function. TAC was accompanied by significant changes in glycolysis, mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, glucose metabolism to anaplerotic substrates, and de novo glutamine synthesis. In contrast to TAC, hardly any metabolic changes could be observed in the Shunt group. Taken together, in vivo [U-13C]glucose labeling is a valuable method to investigate the fate of nutrients such as glucose in the remodeling heart. We find that concentric and eccentric cardiac remodeling are accompanied by distinct differences in glucose carbon metabolism.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study implemented a method for assessing the fate of glucose carbons in the heart in vivo and used this to demonstrate that pressure and volume overload are associated with distinct changes. In contrast to volume overload, pressure overload-induced changes affect the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolytic pathways, and glutamine synthesis. A better understanding of cardiac glucose metabolism under pathological conditions in vivo may provide new therapeutic strategies specific for different types of hemodynamic overload.

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