Mitochondria contribute to cardiac dysfunction and myocyte injury via a loss of metabolic capacity and by the production and release of toxic products. This article discusses aspects of mitochondrial structure and metabolism that are pertinent to the role of mitochondria in cardiac disease. Generalized mechanisms of mitochondrial-derived myocyte injury are also discussed, as are the strengths and weaknesses of experimental models used to study the contribution of mitochondria to cardiac injury. Finally, the involvement of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of specific cardiac disease states (ischemia, reperfusion, aging, ischemic preconditioning, and cardiomyopathy) is addressed.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.