Previous studies have shown that loss of CD36 protects the heart from dysfunction induced by pressure overload in the presence of diet-induced insulin resistance and/or obesity. The beneficial effects of CD36 ablation in this context are mediated by preventing excessive cardiac fatty acid (FA) entry and reducing lipotoxic injury. However, whether or not the loss of CD36 can prevent pressure overload-induced cardiac dysfunction in the absence of chronic exposure to high circulating FAs is currently unknown. To address this, we utilized a tamoxifen inducible cardiomyocyte-specific CD36 knockout (icCD36KO) mouse and genetically deleted CD36 in adulthood. Control mice (CD36 floxed/floxed mice) and icCD36KO mice were treated with tamoxifen and subsequently subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) surgery to generate pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Consistent with CD36 mediating a significant proportion of FA entry into the cardiomyocyte and subsequent FA utilization for ATP production, hearts from icCD36KO mice were metabolically inefficient and displayed signs of energetic stress including activation of the energetic stress kinase, AMPK. In addition, impaired energetics in icCD36KO mice contributed to a rapid progression from compensated hypertrophy to heart failure. However, icCD36KO mice fed a medium chain FA diet, whereby medium chain FAs can enter into the cardiomyocyte independent from CD36, were protected from TAC-induced heart failure. Together these data suggest that limiting FA uptake and partial inhibition of FA oxidation in the heart via CD36 ablation may be detrimental for the compensated hypertrophic heart in the absence of sufficiently elevated circulating FAs to provide an adequate energy source.
- heart failure
- fatty acid metabolism
- pressure overload
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology