Inhibition of sarcolemmal FAT/CD36 by sulfo-N-succinimidyl oleate rapidly corrects metabolism and restores function in the diabetic heart following hypoxia/reoxygenation

Latt S. Mansor, Maria da Luz Sousa Fialho, Georgina Yea, Will A. Coumans, James A. West, Matthew Kerr, Carolyn A. Carr, Joost J. F. P. Luiken, Jan F. C. Glatz, Rhys D. Evans, Julian L. Griffin, Damian J. Tyler, Kieran Clarke, Lisa C. Heather*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    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 hypoxiareoxygenation. 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 languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-748
    Number of pages12
    JournalCardiovascular Research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


    • Metabolism
    • Energy
    • Fatty acid
    • Hypoxia
    • Glucose
    • DB/DB MICE


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