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Effect of free fatty acids and dichloroacetic acid on the diabetic isolated working rat heart Nicholl, Tessa Anne


It is well established that a cardiomyopathy independent of atherosclerosis develops in both humans and animals with diabetes mellitus. The etiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy is very complex involving many different processes, one of which may be the increased fatty acid utilization, and/or the concomitant decrease in glucose utilization, by the diabetic heart. We compared control and 6-week streptozotocin(STZ)-induced diabetic isolated working rat hearts and were able to demonstrate cardiac dysfunction in the diabetic as assessed by depressed heart rate (HR), heart rate peak systolic pressure product (HR X PSP), left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), rate of pressure rise (+dP/dt) and rate of pressure decline (-dP/dt). Paralleling depressed cardiac function in the diabetic were hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and decreased body weight gain as compared to age-matched controls. The addition of free fatty acids, in the form of 1.2 mM palmitate, to the isolated working heart perfusate had no effect on either control or diabetic heart function, with the exception of a depressive effect on +dP/dt of diabetic hearts and -dP/dt of control hearts. But, diabetic hearts perfused with palmitate-containing perfusate plus the glucose oxidation stimulator dichloroacetate (DCA) showed a marked improvement in function. Heart rate, HR X PSP, LVDP and +/-dP/dt were all restored to control heart values in diabetic hearts perfused in the presence of DCA. Creatine phosphate and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) levels were similar under all perfusion conditions, therefore eliminating energy stores as the limiting factor in heart function. Results indicate that DCA-induced stimulation of glucose oxidation acutely reversed diabetic cardiac function depression. Therefore, depression of glucose oxidation in the diabetic heart may be contributing to diabetic cardiomyopathy.

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