The relation between heat output and stress production (force per cross-sectional area) of isolated cardiac tissue is a key metric that provides insight into muscle energetic performance. The heat intercept of the relation, termed “activation heat,” reflects the metabolic cost of restoring transmembrane gradients of Na+ and K+ following electrical excitation, and myoplasmic Ca2+ concentration following its release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. At subphysiological temperatures, activation heat is inversely dependent on temperature. Thus one may presume that activation heat would decrease even further at body temperature. However, this assumption is prima facie inconsistent with a study, using intact hearts, which revealed no apparent change in the combination of activation and basal metabolism between 27 and 37°C. It is thus desired to directly determine the change in activation heat between 27 and 37°C. In this study, we use our recently constructed high-thermal resolution muscle calorimeter to determine the first heat-stress relation of isolated cardiac muscle at 37°C. We compare the relation at 37°C to that at 27°C to examine whether the inverse temperature dependence of activation heat, observed under hypothermic conditions, prevails at body temperature. Our results show that activation heat was reduced (from 3.5 ± 0.3 to 2.3 ± 0.3 kJ/m3) at the higher temperature. This leads us to conclude that activation metabolism continues to decline as temperature is increased from hypothermia to normothermia and allows us to comment on results obtained from the intact heart by previous investigators.
- muscle energetics
- heat-stress relation
- cardiac trabeculae
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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