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The role of glucose in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Heart failure is one of the major causes of death worldwide and continues to increase despite therapeutics and pharmacology advances. Fatty acids and glucose are used as ATP-producing fuels in heart to meet its energy demands. However, dysregulation of metabolites' use plays a pivotal role in cardiac diseases. How glucose becomes toxic or drives cardiac dysfunction is incompletely understood. In the present review, we summarize the recent findings on cardiac cellular and molecular events that are driven by glucose during pathologic conditions and potential therapeutic strategies to tackle hyperglycemia-mediated cardiac dysfunction.

RECENT FINDINGS: Several studies have emerged recently, demonstrating that excessive glucose utilization has been correlated with impairment of cellular metabolic homeostasis primarily driven by mitochondrial dysfunction and damage, oxidative stress, and abnormal redox signaling. This disturbance is associated with cardiac remodeling, hypertrophy, and systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Both human and animal heart failure studies, report that glucose is a preferable fuel at the expense of fatty acid oxidation during ischemia and hypertrophy, but the opposite happens in diabetic hearts, which warrants further investigation.

SUMMARY: A better understanding of glucose metabolism and its fate during distinct types of heart disease will contribute to developing novel therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of heart failure.

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