Aims The mechanisms responsible for cardiac damage in the early stages of metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain unknown. Mitochondria are intimately associated with cellular myofibrils, with the cytoskeleton functioning as a linkage coordinator, and closely associated to the calcium release sites of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). We hypothesized that early MetS is characterized by mitochondria-related myocardial damage, associated with altered cytoskeletal-mitochondria-SR interaction. Methods and results Domestic pigs were studied after 16 weeks of diet-induced MetS, MetS treated for the last 4 weeks with the mitochondrial-targeted peptide elamipretide (ELAM; 0.1 mg/kg SC q.d), or Lean controls (n = 6/group). Cardiac remodeling and function were assessed by fast comuted tomography. Myocardial mitochondrial structure, SR-mitochondria interaction, calcium handling, cytoskeletal proteins, oxidative stress, and apoptosis were studied ex-vivo. MetS pigs developed hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance, yet cardiac function was preserved. MetS-induced mitochondrial disorganization, decreased (C18:2)4 cardiolipin, disrupted ATP/ADP balance, and decreased cytochrome-c oxidase (COX)-IV activity. MetS also increased mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2) production, decreased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)/NADP and GSH/GSSG, and decreased myocardial desmin and β2 tubulin immunoreactivity, and impaired SR-mitochondrial interaction and mitochondrial calcium handling, eliciting myocardial oxidative stress and apoptosis. ELAM improved mitochondrial organization and cardiolipin species profile, restored ATP/ADP ratio and COX-IV activity, decreased H 2 0 2 production, and improved generation of NADPH and GSH. ELAM also improved cytoskeletal-mitochondria-SR interaction and mitochondrial calcium handling, attenuating oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Conclusions Disorganization of cardiomyocyte cytoskeletal-mitochondria-SR network is associated with cardiac reversible changes in early MetS, preceding overt cardiac dysfunction. These findings may introduce novel therapeutic targets for blunting cardiac damage in early MetS.
- Metabolic syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)