Myocardial Lactate Metabolism in Fetal and Newborn Lambs

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Around birth, myocardial substrate supply changes from carbohydrates before birth to primarily fatty acids after birth. Parallel to these changes, the myocardium is expected to switch from the use of primarily lactate before birth to fatty acids thereafter. However, myocardial lactate uptake and oxidation around birth has not been measured in vivo.


We show that lactate is an important energy source for the myocardium before birth as well as in the first 2 weeks after birth in lambs. We also show that there is release of lactate by the myocardium simultaneously with uptake of lactate. Furthermore, we show that lactate oxidation may be attenuated by fatty acids but not by glucose, probably at the level of pyruvate dehydrogenase. (Circulation. 1999;99:1892-1897.)

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