On Wednesday 28 February 2024, Guadalupe Sabio will talk about the past and the future of our investigation at the Universidad del País Vasco.
Ayelén M. Santamans, Beatriz Cicuéndez, Alfonso Mora , María Villalba-Orero, Sanela Rajlic, María Crespo, Paula Vo, Madison Jerome, Álvaro Macías, Juan Antonio López, Magdalena Leiva, Susana F. Rocha, Marta León, Elena Rodríguez, Luis Leiva, Aránzazu Pintor Chocano, Inés García Lunar, Ana García-Álvarez, Pablo Hernansanz-Agustín, Víctor I. Peinado, Joan Albert Barberá, Borja Ibañez, Jesús Vázquez, Jessica B. Spinelli, Andreas Daiber, Eduardo Oliver & Guadalupe Sabio.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can affect both pulmonary arterial tree and cardiac function, often leading to right heart failure and death. Despite the urgency, the lack of understanding has limited the development of effective cardiac therapeutic strategies.
Our research reveals that MCJ modulates mitochondrial response to chronic hypoxia. MCJ levels elevate under hypoxic conditions, as in lungs of patients affected by COPD, mice exposed to hypoxia, and myocardium from pigs subjected to right ventricular (RV) overload. The absence of MCJ preserves RV function, safeguarding against both cardiac and lung remodeling induced by chronic hypoxia. Cardiac-specific silencing is enough to protect against cardiac dysfunction despite the adverse pulmonary remodeling. Mechanistically, the absence of MCJ triggers a protective preconditioning state mediated by the ROS/mTOR/HIF-1α axis. As a result, it preserves RV systolic function following hypoxia exposure.
These discoveries provide a potential avenue to alleviate chronic hypoxia-induced PH, highlighting MCJ as a promising target against this condition
Rafael Romero-Becerra, Ayelén M. Santamans, Alba C. Arcones & Guadalupe Sabio.
The heart, once considered a mere pump, is now recognized as a multifunctional metabolic and endocrine organ. Its function is tightly regulated by various metabolic processes, at the same time that serves as an endocrine organ, secreting bioactive molecules that impact systemic metabolism.
In recent years, research has shed light on the intricate interplay between the heart and other metabolic organs, such as adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle. The metabolic flexibility of the heart and its ability to switch between different energy substrates play a crucial role in maintaining cardiac function and overall metabolic homeostasis. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of how metabolic disorders disrupt cardiac metabolism is crucial, as it plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of cardiac diseases. The emerging understanding of the heart as a metabolic and endocrine organ highlights its essential contribution to whole-body metabolic regulation and offers new insights into the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.
In this paper, we provide an in-depth exploration of the heart’s metabolic and endocrine functions, emphasizing its role in systemic metabolism and the interplay between the heart and other metabolic organs. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests a correlation between heart disease and cancer, indicating that the metabolic dysfunction observed in both conditions may share common underlying mechanisms. By unraveling the complex mechanisms underlying cardiac metabolism, we aim to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for metabolic diseases and improve overall cardiovascular health.