Cardiac Metabolic Limitations Contribute to Diminished Performance of the Heart in Aging

Xin Gao, Djordje G Jakovljevic, Daniel A Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the myocardial energetics associated with aging-reductions in creatine phosphate/ATP ratio, total creatine, and ATP-mirror changes observed in failing hearts compared to healthy controls. Similarly, both aging and heart failure are associated with significant reductions in cardiac performance and maximal left ventricular cardiac power output compared with young healthy individuals. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that reductions in the concentrations of cytoplasmic adenine nucleotide, creatine, and phosphate pools that occur with aging impair the myocardial capacity to synthesize ATP at physiological free energy levels and that the resulting changes to myocardial energetic status impair the mechanical pumping ability of the heart. The purpose of this study is to test these hypotheses using an age-structured population model for myocardial metabolism in the adult female population and to determine the potential impact of reductions in key myocardial metabolite pools in causing metabolic/energetic and cardiac mechanical dysfunction associated with aging. To test these hypotheses, we developed a population model for myocardial energetics to predict myocardial ATP, ADP, creatine phosphate, creatine, and inorganic phosphate concentrations as functions of cardiac work and age in the adult female population. Model predictions support our hypotheses and are consistent with previous experimental observations. The major findings provide a novel, to our knowledge, theoretical and computational framework for further probing complex relationships between the energetics and performance of the heart with aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2295-2302
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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