Metabolic differences between cardiomyopathic hamsters (CMHs), as they progress through various physiologic phases before reaching end-stage heart failure (HF), and healthy hamsters (HHs) are often difficult to demonstrate. We suggest that metabolic differences, magnified by application of chronic stress (S: cold immobilization 2 hr/day for 5 days) followed by acute stress (AS: 55 min global ischemia /30 min reperfusion), can be used to characterize different stages in this cardiomyopathic process. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and 31P NMR methods were used to monitor the effects of acute stress applied to nonstressed (NS) and previously stressed CMHs (NS-2.5-month NS-5-month; S-2.5-month, S-5-month) and HHs (NS-HH, S-HH).
Cardiac tissue extracts from nonstressed and stressed hamsters were analyzed for ATP and PCr at baseline and after completion of ischemia/reperfusion (AS) using HPLC. In nonstressed hamsters, ATP and PCr were 12% lower in CMHs (both NS-2.5- and NS-5-month) than in NS-HHs. After exposure to stress, ATP was 26% lower in CMHs (S-2.5- and S-5-month) compared to S-HHs, whereas there were minimal differences in PCr between the groups.
31P NMR monitoring of metabolism in the perfused beating heart during application of acute stress produced similar changes (%) in ATP and PCr in all groups (NS and S), whereas Pi increase was less in NS-5-month (118%) compared to NS-2.5-month (179%) and NS-HHs (306.8%), P < 0.05; and in S-5-month (148%) compared to S-2.5-month (216%) and S-HHs (222%). The changes in myocardial pH were inversely related to changes in Pi: NS-5-month (−13.5%); NS-2.5-month (−9.7%); NS-HH (−17.7%). pH changes in stressed cardiomyopathic hamsters were similar to those of S-HHs. The postischemic recovery of ATP and Pi return closer to baseline values in cardiomyopathic hamsters (both NS and S) compared to healthy hamsters.
The data suggest that cardiomyopathic hamsters have baseline metabolic abnormalities, and their responses to chronic cold immobilization stress, acute ischemia, and chronic cold immobilization stress plus acute ischemia are different from those in HHs. These responses may help to characterize specific stages of disease.