Obesity-metabolic derangement exacerbates cardiomyocyte loss distal to moderate coronary artery stenosis in pigs without affecting global cardiac function

Zi Lun Li, Behzad Ebrahimi, Xin Zhang, Alfonso Eirin, John R. Woollard, Hui Tang, Amir Lerman, Shen Ming Wang, Lilach O. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Obesity associated with metabolic derangements (ObM) worsens the prognosis of patients with coronary artery stenosis (CAS), but the underlying cardiac pathophysiologic mechanisms remain elusive. We tested the hypothesis that ObM exacerbates cardiomyocyte loss distal to moderate CAS. Obesity-prone pigs were randomized to four groups (n = 6 each): lean-sham, ObM-sham, lean-CAS, and ObM-CAS. Lean and ObM pigs were maintained on a 12-wk standard or atherogenic diet, respectively, and left circumflex CAS was then induced by placing local-irritant coils. Cardiac structure, function, and myocardial oxygenation were assessed 4 wk later by computed-tomography and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) MRI, the microcirculation with micro-computed-tomography, and injury mechanisms by immunoblotting and histology. ObM pigs showed obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. The degree of CAS (range, 50-70%) was similar in lean and ObM pigs, and resting myocardial perfusion and global cardiac function remained unchanged. Increased angiogenesis distal to the moderate CAS observed in lean was attenuated in ObM pigs, which also showed microvascular dysfunction and increased inflammation (M1-macrophages, TNF-α expression), oxidative stress (gp91), hypoxia (BOLD-MRI), and fibrosis (Sirius-red and trichrome). Furthermore, lean-CAS showed increased myocardial autophagy, which was blunted in ObM pigs (downregulated expression of unc-51-like kinase-1 and autophagy-related gene-12; P < 0.05 vs. lean CAS) and associated with marked apoptosis. The interaction diet xstenosis synergistically inhibited angiogenic, autophagic, and fibrogenic activities. ObM exacerbates structural and functional myocardial injury distal to moderate CAS with preserved myocardial perfusion, possibly due to impaired cardiomyocyte turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1087-H1101
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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