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To investigate the cause for the greater susceptibility of hypertrophied hearts to ischemic injury, we determined the interrelations of total work output, contractile function and energy metabolism in isolated, perfused normal and hypertrophied rat hearts subjected to graded global ischemia. Cardiac hypertrophy was induced by giving rats seven daily injections of either triiodothyronine (0.2 mg/kg) or isoproterenol (5 mg/kg). All hearts were perfused at an aortic pressure of 100 mmHg in the isovolumic mode in an NMR spectrometer (7.05 Tesla). Heart rate, developed pressure, and coronary flow were monitored simultaneously with changes in pH, creatine phosphate, ATP and inorganic phosphate. During pre-ischemic perfusion, the total work output (rate-pressure product) of hyperthyroid hearts was 28% higher than that of control hearts, whereas hearts from isoproterenol-treated animals showed no difference. However, when related to unit muscle mass, work was normal in hyperthyroid hearts and 26% lower after isoproterenol. Contractile function per unit myocardium (developed pressure/g wet weight) was lower in the hypertrophied hearts. ATP content was the same in all groups. Creatine phosphate decreased 41% after triiodothyronine and 25% after isoproterenol. Inorganic phosphate levels and intracellular pH were similar in control and isoproterenol-treated rat hearts, but were higher in the hyperthyroid rat hearts. The phosphorylation potential and the free energy change of ATP hydrolysis were lowered by hypertrophy, the levels correlating with the depressed contractile function. At each ischemic flow rate, both work and contractile function per unit myocardium were the same for all hearts, but the relations between flow and phosphorylation potential were different for each type of heart. Thus, at low flow rates, hypertrophied hearts perform the same amount of work and have the same contractile function as control hearts, but with abnormal changes in energy metabolism, indicating that the relations of energy status to coronary flow, total work output and contractile function are altered during the process of hypertrophy.


Journal article


J Mol Cell Cardiol

Publication Date





1315 - 1325


Adenosine Triphosphate, Animals, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Coronary Disease, Cytosol, Isoproterenol, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Myocardial Contraction, Myocardium, Phosphocreatine, Phosphorylation, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Triiodothyronine