Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: The type 2 diabetic heart oxidizes more fat and less glucose, which can impair metabolic flexibility and function. Increased sarcolemmal fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) imports more fatty acid into the diabetic myocardium, feeding increased fatty acid oxidation and elevated lipid deposition. Unlike other metabolic modulators that target mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, we proposed that pharmacologically inhibiting fatty acid uptake, as the primary step in the pathway, would provide an alternative mechanism to rebalance metabolism and prevent lipid accumulation following hypoxic stress. METHODS AND RESULTS: Hearts from type 2 diabetic and control male Wistar rats were perfused in normoxia, hypoxia and reoxygenation, with the FAT/CD36 inhibitor sulfo-N-succinimidyl oleate (SSO) infused 4 min before hypoxia. SSO infusion into diabetic hearts decreased the fatty acid oxidation rate by 29% and myocardial triglyceride concentration by 48% compared with untreated diabetic hearts, restoring fatty acid metabolism to control levels following hypoxia-reoxygenation. SSO infusion increased the glycolytic rate by 46% in diabetic hearts during hypoxia, increased pyruvate dehydrogenase activity by 53% and decreased lactate efflux rate by 56% compared with untreated diabetic hearts during reoxygenation. In addition, SSO treatment of diabetic hearts increased intermediates within the second span of the Krebs cycle, namely fumarate, oxaloacetate, and the FAD total pool. The cardiac dysfunction in diabetic hearts following decreased oxygen availability was prevented by SSO-infusion prior to the hypoxic stress. Infusing SSO into diabetic hearts increased rate pressure product by 60% during hypoxia and by 32% following reoxygenation, restoring function to control levels. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic hearts have limited metabolic flexibility and cardiac dysfunction when stressed, which can be rapidly rectified by reducing fatty acid uptake with the FAT/CD36 inhibitor, SSO. This novel therapeutic approach not only reduces fat oxidation but also lipotoxicity, by targeting the primary step in the fatty acid metabolism pathway.

Original publication




Journal article


Cardiovasc Res

Publication Date





737 - 748


Energy, Fatty acid, Glucose, Hypoxia, Metabolism, Animals, CD36 Antigens, Cell Hypoxia, Citric Acid Cycle, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Cardiomyopathies, Energy Metabolism, Fatty Acids, Isolated Heart Preparation, Lipid Metabolism, Male, Myocardial Reperfusion Injury, Myocardium, Oleic Acids, Oxidation-Reduction, Oxidative Stress, Rats, Wistar, Sarcolemma, Succinimides, Time Factors, Triglycerides, Ventricular Function, Left, Ventricular Pressure