Myocardial Substrate Oxidation and Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Intermediates During Hypothermic Machine Perfusion

Cyonna Holmes, Ryan J. Vela, La Shondra Powell, Sarah Brant, Matthias Peltz, Michael E. Jessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal substrate for hypothermic machine perfusion preservation of donor hearts is unknown. Fatty acids, acetate, and ketones are preferred substrates of the heart during normothermic perfusion, but cannot replete the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle directly. Propionate, an anaplerotic substrate, can replenish TCA cycle intermediates and may affect cardiac metabolism. The purpose of this study was to determine myocardial substrate preferences during hypothermic machine perfusion and to assess if an anaplerotic substrate was required to maintain the TCA cycle intermediate pool in perfused hearts. Methods: Groups of rat hearts were perfused with carbon-13 (13C)-labeled substrates (acetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, octanoate, with and without propionate) at low and high concentrations. TCA cycle intermediate concentrations, substrate selection, and TCA cycle flux were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Results: Acetate and octanoate were preferentially oxidized, whereas β-hydroxybutyrate was a minor substrate. TCA cycle intermediate concentrations except fumarate were higher in substrate-containing perfusion groups compared with either the no-substrate perfusion group or the no-ischemia control group. Conclusions: The presence of an exogenous, oxidizable substrate is required to support metabolism in the cold perfused heart. An anaplerotic substrate is not essential to maintain the TCA cycle intermediate pool and support oxidative metabolism under these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Cardiac metabolism
  • Hypothermic machine perfusion preservation
  • Organ donation
  • Organ preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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