Troponin T (TnT) mutations that cause familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) and sudden cardiac death frequently increase myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, suggesting that their Ca2+-sensitizing effect contributes importantly to the FHC pathogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we compared transgenic mice expressing the Ca2+-sensitizing TnT-I79N mutant (I79N), which causes a high rate of sudden cardiac death in patients, with mice expressing the more benign TnT-R278C mutant (R278C) that does not affect myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity. Acutely increasing myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity with EMD57033 served as a positive control. Isovolumically contracting hearts were compared over a range of loading conditions (Frank-Starling curve). Consistent with their increased myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, I79N-Tg hearts demonstrated significantly higher systolic performance at low perfusate [Ca2+] compared with R278C-Tg hearts, which were not statistically different from control hearts expressing either human wild-type TnT or no transgene (CON). Diastolic function was impaired in both FHC mutants (time to 90% relaxation: I79N 48 ± 1.0 ms, n = 10 or R278C 47 ± 0.4 ms, n = 7, versus CON 44 ± 1.0 ms, n = 20, P < 0.05). In the presence of isoproterenol, almost all contractile parameters of R278C hearts became indistinguishable from control hearts, whereas both systolic and diastolic function of I79N hearts significantly worsened (end-diastolic pressure: I79N 20 ± 4 mmHg versus CON 13 ± 2 mmHg or R278C 11 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05). The Ca2+ sensitizer EMD57033 produced an even greater contractile dysfunction than the I79N mutation at fast pacing rates. In vivo, maximal exercise tolerance was significantly impaired only in I79N mice. Pretreatment with β-adrenergic receptor antagonists abolished differences in exercise tolerance. In conclusion, the Ca2+-sensitizing effects of TnT mutations may reduce the responsiveness of mouse hearts to inotropic stimuli.