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Pharmacol Rep. 2009 Jan-Feb;61(1):131-8.

Mitochondrial biogenesis in cardiac pathophysiology.

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INSERM, U-769, Ch√Ętenay-Malabry, France.


Cardiac performance depends on a fine balance between the work the heart has to perform to satisfy the needs of the body and the energy that it is able to produce. Thus, energy production by oxidative metabolism, the main energy source of the cardiac muscle, has to be strictly regulated to adapt to cardiac work. Mitochondrial biogenesis is the mechanism responsible for mitochondrial component synthesis and assembly. This process controls mitochondrial content and thus correlates with energy production that, in turn, sustains cardiac contractility. Mitochondrial biogenesis should be finely controlled to match cardiac growth and cardiac work. When the heart is subjected to an increase in work in response to physiological and pathological challenges, it adapts by increasing its mass and expressing a new genetic program. In response to physiological stimuli such as endurance training, mitochondrial biogenesis seems to follow a program involving increased cardiac mass. But in the context of pathological hypertrophy, the modifications of this mechanism remain unclear. What appears clear is that mitochondrial biogenesis is altered in heart failure, and the imbalance between cardiac work demand and energy production represents a major factor in the development of heart failure.

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