Basic Research in Cardiology

, Volume 79, Issue 5, pp 551–561 | Cite as

Metabolic and physiological differences between zero-flow and low-flow myocardial ischemia: effects of L-acetylcarnitine

  • Dennis J. Paulson
  • Mary J. Schmidt
  • Jeff Romens
  • Austin L. Shug
Original Contributions


The metabolic and physiologic differences between low-flow and zero-flow ischemia of varying duration were compared in the isolated perfused rat heart. Hearts subjected to 60 and 90 minutes of zero-flow ischemia recovered less cardiac work than hearts subjected to low-flow ischemia. Low-flow ischemia caused a build-up of both myocardial long-chain acyl coenzyme A and acyl carnitine esters, while zero-flow ischemia produced no change in long-chain acyl carnitine and only a transient increase in long-chain acyl coenzyme A. High energy phosphate depletion was greater in zero-flow ischemia. Perfusion with excess free fatty acids decreased the recovery of cardiac work after low-flow ischemia but had no effect after repeated episodes of zero-flow ischemia. L-Acetylcarnitine improved the recovery of cardiac work after low-flow ischemia in hearts perfused with 0.4 and 1.2 mM palmitate. With zero-flow ischemia, L-acetylcarnitine had no effect on the recovery of cardiac work in hearts perfused with 0.4 mM palmitate and a slight but statistically significant effect with 1.2 mM palmitate. Possible protective mechanisms of L-acetylcarnitine against ischemic damage are discussed.

Key words

carnitine perfused rat heart long-chain acyl coenzyme A 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis J. Paulson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary J. Schmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeff Romens
    • 1
    • 2
  • Austin L. Shug
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Metabolic Research LaboratoryWilliam S. Middleton Memorial Veterans HospitalMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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