Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 101–109 | Cite as

Regulation of and intervention into the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and adenine nucleotide metabolism in the heart

  • Heinz-Gerd Zimmer


The capacity of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) in the heart is limited, since the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), the first and regulating enzyme of this pathway, is very low. Two mechanisms are involved in the regulation of this pathway. Under normal conditions, G-6-PD is inhibited by NADPH. This can be overcome in the isolated perfused rat heart by increasing the oxidized glutathione and by elevating the NADP+/NADPH ratio. Besides this rapid control mechanism, there is a long-term regulation which involves the synthesis of G-6-PD. The activity of G-6-PD was elevated in the rat heart during the development of cardiac hypertrophy due to constriction of the abdominal aorta and in the non-ischemic part of the rat heart subsequent to myocardial infarction. The catecholamines isoproterenol and norepinephrine stimulated the activity of myocardial G-6-PD in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The isoproterenol-induced stimulation was cAMP-dependent and due to increased new synthesis of enzyme protein. The G-6-PD mRNA was elevated by norepinephrine. As a consequence of the stimulation of the oxidative PPP, the available pool of 5-phosphoribosyl-l-pyrophosphate (PRPP) was expanded. PRPP is an important precursor substrate for purine and pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis. The limiting step in the oxidative PPP, the G-6-PD reaction, can be bypassed with ribose. This leads to an elevation of the cardiac PRPP pool. The decline in ATP that is induced in many pathophysiological conditions was attenuated or even entirely prevented by i.v. infusion of ribose. In two in vivo rat models, the overloaded and catecholamine-stimulated heart and the infarcted heart, the normalization of the cardiac adenine nucleotide pool by ribose was accompanied by an improvement of global heart function. Combination of ribose with adenine or inosine in isoproterenol-treated rats was more effective to restore completely the cardiac ATP level within a short period of time than either intervention alone. (Mol Cell Biochem 160/161: 101–109, 1996)

Key words

adenine nucleotide synthesis catecholamines cardiac hypertrophy ischemic heart disease 5-phosphoribosyl-l-pyrophosphate ribose 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz-Gerd Zimmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Carl-Ludwig-Institute of PhysiologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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