Discordant signaling and autophagy response to fasting in hearts of obese mice: Implications for ischemia tolerance

Allen M. Andres, Joel A. Kooren, Sarah J. Parker, Kyle C. Tucker, Nandini Ravindran, Bruce R. Ito, Chengqun Huang, Vidya Venkatraman, Jennifer E. Van Eyk, Roberta A. Gottlieb, Robert M. Mentzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Autophagy is regulated by nutrient and energy status and plays an adaptive role during nutrient deprivation and ischemic stress. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a hypernutritive state characterized by obesity, dyslipidemia, elevated fasting blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance. It has also been associated with impaired autophagic flux and larger-sized infarcts. We hypothesized that dietinduced obesity (DIO) affects nutrient sensing, explaining the observed cardiac impaired autophagy. We subjected male friend virus B NIH (FVBN) mice to a high-fat diet, which resulted in increased weight gain, fat deposition, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and larger infarcts after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. Autophagic flux was impaired after 4 wk on a high-fat diet. To interrogate nutrientsensing pathways, DIO mice were subjected to overnight fasting, and hearts were processed for biochemical and proteomic analysis. Obese mice failed to upregulate LC3-II or to clear p62/SQSTM1 after fasting, although mRNA for LC3B and p62/SQSTM1 were appropriately upregulated in both groups, demonstrating an intact transcriptional response to fasting. Energy-and nutrient-sensing signal transduction pathways [AMPK and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)] also responded appropriately to fasting, although mTOR was more profoundly suppressed in obese mice. Proteomic quantitative analysis of the hearts under fed and fasted conditions revealed broad changes in protein networks involved in oxidative phosphorylation, autophagy, oxidative stress, protein homeostasis, and contractile machinery. In many instances, the fasting response was quite discordant between lean and DIO mice. Network analysis implicated the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and mTOR regulatory nodes. Hearts of obese mice exhibited impaired autophagy, altered proteome, and discordant response to nutrient deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H219-H228
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Mammalian target of rapamycin
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α/γ
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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