The goal of this study was to determine whether changes in cardiac metabolism in Type 2 diabetes are associated with contractile dysfunction or impaired response to ischemia. Hearts from Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) and lean control rats were isolated and perfused with glucose, lactate, pyruvate, and palmitate. The rates of glucose, lactate, pyruvate, and palmitate oxidation rates and glycolysis were determined during baseline perfusion and low-flow ischemia (LFI; 0.3 ml/min for 30 min) and after LFI and reperfusion. Under all conditions, ATP synthesis from palmitate was increased and synthesis from lactate was decreased in the ZDF group, whereas the contribution from glucose was unchanged. During baseline perfusion, the rate of glycolysis was lower in the ZDF group; however, during LFI and reperfusion, there were no differences between groups. Despite these metabolic shifts, there were no differences in oxygen consumption or ATP production rates between the groups under any perfusion conditions. Cardiac function was slightly depressed before LFI in the ZDF group, but during reperfusion, function was improved relative to the control group despite the increased dependence on fatty acids tor energy production. These data suggest that in this model of diabetes, the shift from carbohydrates to fatty acids for oxidative energy production did not increase myocardial oxygen consumption and was not associated with impaired response to ischemia and reperfusion. Copyright © 2005 the American Physiological Society.