Ca2+-independent alterations in diastolic sarcomere length and relaxation kinetics in a mouse model of lipotoxic diabetic cardiomyopathy

Thomas P Flagg, Olivier Cazorla, Maria S Remedi, Todd E Haim, Michael A Tones, Anthony Bahinski, Randal E Numann, Attila Kovacs, Jean E Schaffer, Colin G Nichols, Jeanne M Nerbonne
Circulation Research 2009 January 2, 104 (1): 95-103
Previous studies demonstrated increased fatty acid uptake and metabolism in MHC-FATP transgenic mice that overexpress fatty acid transport protein (FATP)1 in the heart under the control of the alpha-myosin heavy chain (alpha-MHC) promoter. Doppler tissue imaging and hemodynamic measurements revealed diastolic dysfunction, in the absence of changes in systolic function. The experiments here directly test the hypothesis that the diastolic dysfunction in MHC-FATP mice reflects impaired ventricular myocyte contractile function. In vitro imaging of isolated adult MHC-FATP ventricular myocytes revealed that mean diastolic sarcomere length is significantly (P<0.01) shorter than in wild-type (WT) cells (1.79+/-0.01 versus 1.84+/-0.01 microm). In addition, the relaxation rate (dL/dt) is significantly (P<0.05) slower in MHC-FATP than WT myocytes (1.58+/-0.09 versus 1.92+/-0.13 microm/s), whereas both fractional shortening and contraction rates are not different. Application of 40 mmol/L 2,3-butadionemonoxime (a nonspecific ATPase inhibitor that relaxes actin-myosin interactions) increased diastolic sarcomere length in both WT and MHC-FATP myocytes to the same length, suggesting that MHC-FATP myocytes are partially activated at rest. Direct measurements of intracellular Ca(2+) revealed that diastolic [Ca(2+)](i) is unchanged in MHC-FATP myocytes and the rate of calcium removal is unexpectedly faster in MHC-FATP than WT myocytes. Moreover, diastolic sarcomere length in MHC-FATP and WT myocytes was unaffected by removal of extracellular Ca(2+) or by buffering of intracellular Ca(2+) with the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA (100 micromol/L), indicating that elevated intracellular Ca(2+) does not underlie impaired diastolic function in MHC-FATP ventricular myocytes. Functional assessment of skinned myocytes, however, revealed that myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity is markedly increased in MHC-FATP, compared with WT, ventricular cells. In addition, biochemical experiments demonstrated increased expression of the beta-MHC isoform in MHC-FATP, compared with WT ventricles, which likely contributes to the slower relaxation rate observed in MHC-FATP myocytes. Collectively, these data demonstrate that derangements in lipid metabolism in MHC-FATP ventricles, which are similar to those observed in the diabetic heart, result in impaired diastolic function that primarily reflects changes in myofilament function, rather than altered Ca(2+) cycling.

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