Myocardial substrate metabolism in the normal and failing heart

Physiol Rev. 2005 Jul;85(3):1093-129. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00006.2004.


The alterations in myocardial energy substrate metabolism that occur in heart failure, and the causes and consequences of these abnormalities, are poorly understood. There is evidence to suggest that impaired substrate metabolism contributes to contractile dysfunction and to the progressive left ventricular remodeling that are characteristic of the heart failure state. The general concept that has recently emerged is that myocardial substrate selection is relatively normal during the early stages of heart failure; however, in the advanced stages there is a downregulation in fatty acid oxidation, increased glycolysis and glucose oxidation, reduced respiratory chain activity, and an impaired reserve for mitochondrial oxidative flux. This review discusses 1) the metabolic changes that occur in chronic heart failure, with emphasis on the mechanisms that regulate the changes in the expression of metabolic genes and the function of metabolic pathways; 2) the consequences of these metabolic changes on cardiac function; 3) the role of changes in myocardial substrate metabolism on ventricular remodeling and disease progression; and 4) the therapeutic potential of acute and long-term manipulation of cardiac substrate metabolism in heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Metabolism / drug effects
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Phenotype