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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014 Apr 1;306(7):H1018-24. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00741.2013. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Impaired left ventricular mechanical and energetic function in mice after cardiomyocyte-specific excision of Serca2.

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Cardiovascular Research Group, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Artic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway;


Sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ -ATPase (SERCA)2 transports Ca2+ from the cytosol into the sarcoplasmic reticulum of cardiomyocytes and is essential for maintaining myocardial Ca2+ handling and thus the mechanical function of the heart. SERCA2 is a major ATP consumer in excitation-contraction coupling but is regarded to contribute to energetically efficient Ca2+ handling in the cardiomyocyte. Previous studies using cardiomyocyte-specific SERCA2 knockout (KO) mice have demonstrated that decreased SERCA2 activity reduces the Ca2+ transient amplitude and induces compensatory Ca2+ transport mechanisms that may lead to more inefficient Ca2+ transport. In this study, we examined the relationship between left ventricular (LV) function and myocardial O2 consumption (MVo2) in ex vivo hearts from SERCA2 KO mice to directly measure how SERCA2 elimination influences mechanical and energetic features of the heart. Ex vivo hearts from SERCA2 KO hearts developed mechanical dysfunction at 4 wk and demonstrated virtually no working capacity at 7 wk. In accordance with the reported reduction in Ca2+ transient amplitude in cardiomyocytes from SERCA2 KO mice, work-independent MVo2 was decreased due to a reduced energy cost of excitation-contraction coupling. As these hearts also showed a marked impairment in the efficiency of chemomechanical energy transduction (contractile efficiency, i.e, work-dependent MVo2), hearts from SERCA2 KO mice were found to be mechanically inefficient. This ex vivo evaluation of mechanical and energetic function in hearts from SERCA2 KO mice brings together findings from previous experimental and mathematical modeling-based studies and demonstrates that reduced SERCA2 activity not only leads to mechanical dysfunction but also to energetic dysfunction.


contractile efficiency; mechanical efficiency; mechanoenergetics; myocardial oxygen consumption; pressure-volume area

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