Dynamics of myocardial adaptation to low-flow ischemia and hypoxemia

Giampiero Merati, Sonia Allibardi, Lucilla D. Monti, Jan Willem De Jong, Michele Samaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated whether one or more factors control performance in O2- limited hearts. For this purpose, we measured the dynamics of myocardial adaptation to reduced O2 supply with a specially designed setup, analyzing early changes after reduction in either flow of the perfusion medium or its PO2. For 10 min, 38 isolated rat hearts underwent low-flow ischemia or hypoxemia, matched for O2 supply. Early during ischemia, developed pressure declined at a rate of 311 ± 25 mmHg/s; lactate release increased and then leveled off to 3.4 ± 0.7 μmol/min within 2 min. During hypoxemia, pressure dropped initially, as observed during ischemia. However, it then increased before slowly decreasing. Lactate release during hypoxemia peaked at 13.0 ± 2.3 μmol/min after 2 min, leveling off to 3.5 ± 1.3 μmol/min. Glycogen decreased by 52 and 81% in ischemic and hypoxemic hearts, respectively (P <0.05). Reexposure to ischemia or hypoxemia induced comparable changes in both groups. We conclude that, at the beginning of ischemia, a single factor does limit myocardial performance. This variable, which remains undisturbed for 10 min, is presumably O2 availability. In contrast, 20 s after induction of hypoxemia, glycolytic ATP production can partially override low O2 availability by providing most of the energy needed. During repeated restriction of O2 supply, O2 availability alone limits performance during both ischemia and hypoxemia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 40-6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • dynamics of adaptation
  • high-energy phosphates
  • lactate release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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