Chronic heart failure (HF) is associated with morphologic abnormalities of cardiac mitochondria that include hyperplasia, reduced organelle size and compromised structural integrity. In the present study, we examined mitochondrial respiration in myocardium of 10 normal dogs and 10 dogs with chronic HF (LV ejection fraction 24+/-2%) produced by intracoronary micro-embolizations. Mitochondrial respiratory rates were determined using a Clark electrode in an oxygraph cell containing saponin-skinned muscle bundles. Basal respiratory rate (VO), respiratory rate after addition of substrates, glutamate and malate (VSUB) and state 3 respiratory rate (VADP, after addition of ADP), were measured in tissue samples from the subendocardial and subepicardial LV free wall, interventricular septum and right-ventricular free wall. No differences were observed in basal respiratory rates between normal and HF tissue, while VSUB was significantly lower in HF compared to normal. VADP was 50-60% lower in HF compared to normal tissue (P<0.001). The results indicate abnormal mitochondrial respiratory activity in myocardium of dogs with chronic HF. These findings support the concept of low myocardial energy production in HF that can contribute to the global cardiac dysfunction.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.