Perinatal changes in myocardial metabolism in lambs

Beatrijs Bartelds*, Hennie Knoester, Gioia B. Smid, Janny Takens, G. Henk Visser, Luit Penninga, Feike R. Van Der Leij, Gertie C.M. Beaufort-Krol, Willem G. Zijlstra, Hugo S.A. Heymans, Jaap R.G. Kuipers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Background -
Lactate accounts for a third of myocardial oxygen consumption before and in the first 2 weeks after birth. It is unknown how the remainder of myocardial oxygen is consumed. Glucose is thought to be important before birth, whereas long-chain fatty acids (LC-FA) are the prime substrate for the adult. However, the ability of the myocardium of the newborn to use LC-FA has been doubted.

Methods and Results -
We measured the myocardial metabolism of glucose and LC-FA with [U-13C]glucose and [1-13C]palmitate in chronically instrumented fetal and newborn lambs. In fetal lambs, myocardial oxidation of glucose was high and that of LC-FA was low. Glucose and LC-FA accounted for 48 ± 4% and 2 ± 2% of myocardial oxygen consumption, respectively. In newborn lambs, oxidation of glucose decreased, whereas oxidation of LC-FA increased. Glucose and LC-FA accounted for 12 ± 3% and 83 ± 19% of myocardial oxygen consumption. To test whether near-term fetal lambs could use LC-FA, we increased the supply of LC-FA with a fat infusion. In fetal lambs during fat infusion, the oxidation of LC-FA increased 15-fold. Although the oxidation of LC-FA was still lower than in newborn lambs, the contribution to myocardial oxygen consumption (70 ± 13%) was the same as in newborn lambs.

Conclusions -
These data show that glucose and lactate account for the majority of myocardial oxygen consumption in fetal lambs, whereas in newborn lambs, LC-FA and lactate account for the majority of myocardial oxygen consumption. Moreover, we showed that the fetal myocardium can use LC-FA as an energy substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-931
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association


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