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Mitochondrial creatine kinase (Mt-CK) is a major determinant of cardiac energetic status and is down-regulated in chronic heart failure, which may contribute to disease progression. We hypothesised that cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of Mt-CK would mitigate against these changes and thereby preserve cardiac function. Male Mt-CK overexpressing mice (OE) and WT littermates were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or sham surgery and assessed by echocardiography at 0, 3 and 6 weeks alongside a final LV haemodynamic assessment. Regardless of genotype, TAC mice developed progressive LV hypertrophy, dilatation and contractile dysfunction commensurate with pressure overload-induced chronic heart failure. There was a trend for improved survival in OE-TAC mice (90% vs 73%, P = 0.08), however, OE-TAC mice exhibited greater LV dilatation compared to WT and no functional parameters were significantly different under baseline conditions or during dobutamine stress test. CK activity was 37% higher in OE-sham versus WT-sham hearts and reduced in both TAC groups, but was maintained above normal values in the OE-TAC hearts. A separate cohort of mice received in vivo cardiac 31P-MRS to measure high-energy phosphates. There was no difference in the ratio of phosphocreatine-to-ATP in the sham mice, however, PCr/ATP was reduced in WT-TAC but preserved in OE-TAC (1.04 ± 0.10 vs 2.04 ± 0.22; P = 0.007). In conclusion, overexpression of Mt-CK activity prevented the changes in cardiac energetics that are considered hallmarks of a failing heart. This had a positive effect on early survival but was not associated with improved LV remodelling or function during the development of chronic heart failure.

Original publication




Journal article


Basic Res Cardiol

Publication Date





Cardiac energetics, Creatine kinase, Heart failure, Metabolism, Transgenic, Animals, Chronic Disease, Creatine Kinase, Mitochondrial Form, Disease Models, Animal, Energy Metabolism, Heart Failure, Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular, Male, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Mitochondria, Heart, Myocytes, Cardiac, Signal Transduction, Ventricular Dysfunction, Left, Ventricular Function, Left, Ventricular Remodeling