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Cardiac metabolism in mice: tracer method developments and in vivo application revealing profound metabolic inflexibility in diabetes


Studies of cardiac fuel metabolism in mice have been almost exclusively conducted ex vivo. The major aim of this study was to assess in vivo plasma FFA and glucose utilization by the hearts of healthy control (db/+) and diabetic (db/db) mice, based on cardiac uptake of (R)-2-[9,10-(3)H]bromopalmitate ([3H]R-BrP) and 2-deoxy-D-[U-14C]glucose tracers. To obtain quantitative information about the evaluation of cardiac FFA utilization with [3H]R-BrP, simultaneous comparisons of [3H]R-BrP and [14C]palmitate ([14C]P) uptake were first made in isolated perfused working hearts from db/+ mice. It was found that [3H]R-BrP uptake was closely correlated with [14C]P oxidation (r2 = 0.94, P < 0.001). Then, methods for in vivo application of [3H]R-BrP and [14C]2-DG previously developed for application in the rat were specially adapted for use in the mouse. The method yields indexes of cardiac FFA utilization (R(f)*) and clearance (K(f)*), as well as glucose utilization (R(g)'). Finally, in the main part of the study, the ability of the heart to switch between FFA and glucose fuels (metabolic flexibility) was investigated by studying anesthetized, 8-h-fasted control and db/db mice in either the basal state or during glucose infusion. In control mice, glucose infusion raised plasma levels of glucose and insulin, raised R(g)' (+58%), and lowered plasma FFA level (-48%), K(f)* (-45%), and R(f)* (-70%). This apparent reciprocal regulation of glucose and FFA utilization by control hearts illustrates metabolic flexibility for substrate use. By contrast, in the db/db mice, glucose infusion raised glucose levels with no apparent influence on cardiac FFA or glucose utilization. In conclusion, tracer methodology for assessing in vivo tissue-specific plasma FFA and glucose utilization has been adapted for use in mice and reveals a profound loss of metabolic flexibility in the diabetic db/db heart, suggesting a fixed level of FFA oxidation in fasted and glucose-infused states.

Type Journal
ISBN 0193-1849 (Print)
Authors Oakes, N. D.;Thalen, P.;Aasum, E.;Edgley, A.;Larsen, T.;Furler, S. M.;Ljung, B.;Severson, D. :
Published Date 2006-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 290
Published Issue 5
Published Pages E870-81
Status Published In-print
OpenAccess Link Oakes AJP.pdf