A novel physiological role for cardiac myoglobin in lipid metabolism

Ulrike B. Hendgen-Cotta, Sonja Esfeld, Cristina Coman, Robert Ahrends, Ludger Klein-Hitpass, Ulrich Flögel, Tienush Rassaf, Matthias Totzeck
Scientific Reports2017
Continuous contractile activity of the heart is essential and the required energy is mostly provided by fatty acid (FA) oxidation. Myocardial lipid accumulation can lead to pathological responses, however the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. The role of myoglobin in dioxygen binding in cardiomyocytes and oxidative skeletal muscle has widely been appreciated. Our recent work established myoglobin as a protector of cardiac function in hypoxia and disease states. We here unravel a novel role of cardiac myoglobin in governing FA metabolism to ensure the physiological energy production through β-oxidation, preventing myocardial lipid accumulation and preserving cardiac functions. In vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy unveils a 3-fold higher deposition of lipids in mouse hearts lacking myoglobin, which was associated with depressed cardiac function compared to wild-type hearts as assessed by echocardiography. Mass spectrometry reveals a marked increase in tissue triglycerides with preferential incorporation of palmitic and oleic acids. Phospholipid levels as well as the metabolome, transcriptome and proteome related to FA metabolism tend to be unaffected by myoglobin ablation. Our results reveal a physiological role of myoglobin in FA metabolism with the lipid accumulation- suppressing effects of myoglobin preventing cardiac lipotoxicity.

Request a Quote or Demo

Contact Us