Differential modulation of glucose, lactate, and pyruvate oxidation by insulin and dichloroacetate in the rat heart.

Academic Article


  • Despite the fact that lactate and pyruvate are potential substrates for energy production in vivo, our understanding of the control and regulation of carbohydrate metabolism is based principally on studies where glucose is the only available carbohydrate. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the contributions of lactate, pyruvate, and glucose to energy production in the isolated, perfused rat heart over a range of insulin concentrations and after activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase with dichloroacetate (DCA). Hearts were perfused with physiological concentrations of [1-13C]glucose, [U-13C]lactate, [2-13C]pyruvate, and unlabeled palmitate for 45 min. Hearts were freeze clamped, and 13C NMR glutamate isotopomer analysis was performed on tissue extracts. Glucose, lactate, and pyruvate all contributed significantly to myocardial energy production; however, in the absence of insulin, glucose contributed only 25-30% of total pyruvate oxidation. Even under conditions where carbohydrates represented >95% of substrate entering the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, we found that glucose contributed at most 50-60% of total carbohydrate oxidation. Despite being present at only 0.1 mM, pyruvate contributed between approximately 10% and 30% of total acetyl-CoA entry into the TCA cycle. We also found that insulin and DCA not only increased glucose oxidation but also exogenous pyruvate oxidation; however, lactate oxidation was not increased. The differential effects of insulin and DCA on pyruvate and lactate oxidation provide further evidence for compartmentation of cardiac carbohydrate metabolism. These results may have important implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of increasing cardiac carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Keywords

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A, Alanine, Animals, Buffers, Citric Acid Cycle, Dichloroacetic Acid, Energy Metabolism, Glucose, Heart, Heart Function Tests, Heart Rate, Hypoglycemic Agents, In Vitro Techniques, Insulin, Lactic Acid, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Myocardium, Oxidation-Reduction, Pyruvic Acid, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Ventricular Function, Left
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lloyd S; Brocks C; Chatham JC
  • Start Page

  • H163
  • End Page

  • H172
  • Volume

  • 285
  • Issue

  • 1