Molecular Changes in Fatty Acid Oxidation in the Failing Heart

  • Jagdip S. Jaswal
  • Wendy Keung
  • Wei Wang
  • John R. Ussher
  • Gary D. LopaschukEmail author


Heart failure is emerging as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries and is accompanied by alterations in myocardial fatty acid metabolism. In contrast to the normal heart, where fatty acid and glucose metabolism are reciprocally regulated, this dynamic relationship is perturbed in the failing heart. These metabolic alterations negatively impact both cardiac efficiency and function. Depending on the severity/stage of heart failure, the contribution of overall myocardial oxidative metabolism (fatty acid β-oxidation and glucose oxidation) to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production can be depressed. Nonetheless, the balance between fatty acid β-oxidation and glucose oxidation is amenable to pharmacological intervention at multiple levels of each metabolic pathway. The alterations in fatty acid β-oxidation and the associated metabolic phenotype of accompany heart failure are described here. Furthermore, as myocardial fatty acid β-oxidation has emerged as a novel therapeutic target to limit the decrements in ventricular function, the rationale for the use of pharmacological agents that optimize fatty acid β-oxidation to improve cardiac function in the setting of heart failure will be described.


Heart failure Cardiac efficiency Fatty acid oxidation Glucose oxidation Mitochondria 



This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to G.D.L. G.D.L. is an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Scientist. W.K. is supported by fellowship awards from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and AHFMR. W.W. is supported by a fellowship award from AHFMR. J.R.U. is supported by fellowship awards from AHFMR and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagdip S. Jaswal
    • 1
  • Wendy Keung
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • John R. Ussher
    • 1
  • Gary D. Lopaschuk
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology, Mazankowski Alberta Heart InstituteUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Pediatrics and PharmacologyUniversity of Alberta, Mazankowski Alberta Heart InstituteEdmontonCanada

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