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Circulation. 2013 May 14;127(19):1957-67. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.001219. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Divergent mitochondrial biogenesis responses in human cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Molecular Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, BH-569 CHS, BOX 957115, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.



Mitochondria are key players in the development and progression of heart failure (HF). Mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction leads to diminished energy production and increased cell death contributing to the progression of left ventricular failure. The fundamental mechanisms that underlie mt dysfunction in HF have not been fully elucidated.


To characterize mt morphology, biogenesis, and genomic integrity in human HF, we investigated left ventricular tissue from nonfailing hearts and end-stage ischemic (ICM) or dilated (DCM) cardiomyopathic hearts. Although mt dysfunction was present in both types of cardiomyopathy, mt were smaller and increased in number in DCM compared with ICM or nonfailing hearts. mt volume density and mtDNA copy number was increased by ≈2-fold (P<0.001) in DCM hearts in comparison with ICM hearts. These changes were accompanied by an increase in the expression of mtDNA-encoded genes in DCM versus no change in ICM. mtDNA repair and antioxidant genes were reduced in failing hearts, suggestive of a defective repair and protection system, which may account for the 4.1-fold increase in mtDNA deletion mutations in DCM (P<0.05 versus nonfailing hearts, P<0.05 versus ICM).


In DCM, mt dysfunction is associated with mtDNA damage and deletions, which could be a consequence of mutating stress coupled with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α-dependent stimulus for mt biogenesis. However, this maladaptive compensatory response contributes to additional oxidative damage. Thus, our findings support further investigations into novel mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for mt dysfunction in DCM.


DNA, mitochondrial; cardiomyopathy, dilated; heart failure; mitochondrial turnover

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