Standardized bioenergetic profiling of adult mouse cardiomyocytes

Physiol Genomics. 2012 Dec 18;44(24):1208-13. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00129.2012. Epub 2012 Oct 23.


Mitochondria are at the crux of life and death and as such have become ideal targets of intervention in cardiovascular disease. Generally, current methods to measure mitochondrial dysfunction rely on working with the isolated organelle and fail to incorporate mitochondrial function in a cellular context. Extracellular flux methodology has been particularly advantageous in this respect; however, certain primary cell types, such as adult cardiac myocytes, have been difficult to standardize with this technology. Here, we describe methods for using extracellular flux (XF) analysis to measure mitochondrial bioenergetics in isolated, intact, adult mouse cardiomyocytes (ACMs). Following isolation, ACMs were seeded overnight onto laminin-coated (20 μg/ml) microplates, which resulted in high attachment efficiency. After establishing seeding density, we found that a commonly used assay medium (containing a supraphysiological concentration of pyruvate at 1 mmol/l) produced a maximal bioenergetic response. After performing a pyruvate dose-response, we determined that pyruvate titrated to 0.1 mmol/l was optimal for examining alternative substrate oxidation. Methods for measuring fatty acid oxidation were established. These methods lay the framework using XF analysis to profile metabolism of ACMs and will likely augment our ability to understand mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure and acute myocardial ischemia. This platform could easily be extended to models of diabetes or other metabolic defects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Energy Metabolism* / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria, Heart / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Palmitates / pharmacology
  • Pyruvates / metabolism
  • Reference Standards


  • Palmitates
  • Pyruvates