DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18258 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18258: Leucine Supplementation Improves Myocardial Function in a HFpEF Rat Model

Antje Schauer, Paula Ketilly Nascimento Alves, Antje Augstein, Maria Elisa Prieto Jarabo, Anselmo S Moriscot, Axel Linke, Volker Adams
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: We previously documented that leucine supplementation protects from skeletal muscle atrophy by increasing skeletal muscle mass and force during hind limb immobilization. One of the proposed underlying mechanisms was the suppression of HDAC4 protein expression and increased nuclei accretion.

Hypothesis: The present study aimed to examine whether the protective effects of leucine supplementation are also observed in the myocardium in an animal model of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and to assess the role of HDAC4 modulation.

Methods: Female ZSF1 lean (control, con) and obese (HFpEF) rats were randomized at an age of 20 weeks to one of three groups: lean rats receiving standard chow (con), obese rats receiving standard chow (HFpEF), and obese rats receiving leucine-supplemented chow (3% w/w) for 12 weeks (HFpEF/leu). All animals underwent echocardiography at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks. Prior to organ harvest left ventricular (LV) hemodynamics were measured invasively, blood samples were taken, cardiac mitochondrial function was assessed and LV tissue was collected for molecular and histological analyses.

Results: Assessment of diastolic function revealed a 20% reduction of E/é in the HFpEF/leu group compared to untreated HFpEF. While no alterations of left ventricular hemodynamics were observed between the groups, stiffness factor β was significantly reduced in leucine-treated rats. Left ventricular mRNA levels of Collagen type I a1 and matrix metalloproteinase 2 were reduced by 25% and 22%, respectively. Assessment of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation revealed a significant improvement of complex-I- and complex-II mediated respiration in leucine-treated rats compared to HFpEF. Finally, HDAC4 protein expression levels were reduced by 40% in the HFpEF/leu group compared to HFpEF.

Conclusions: This study presents beneficial effects of leucine supplementation on cardiac function, remodeling, and metabolic parameters in an HFpEF rat model. These benefits may be attributed to suppressed HDAC4 expression.

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