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 α-myosin heavy chain (α-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 μm). 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 μm/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 revealed that diastolic [Ca]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 or by buffering of intracellular Ca with the Ca chelator BAPTA (100 μmol/L), indicating that elevated intracellular Ca does not underlie impaired diastolic function in MHC-FATP ventricular myocytes. Functional assessment of skinned myocytes, however, revealed that myofilament Ca sensitivity is markedly increased in MHC-FATP, compared with WT, ventricular cells. In addition, biochemical experiments demonstrated increased expression of the β-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 cycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2009


  • Diabetes
  • Metabolism
  • Myofilaments
  • Remodeling


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