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1.  Functional changes of the coronary microvasculature with aging regarding glucose tolerance, energy metabolism, and oxidative stress 
Age  2014;36(4):9670.
This study was aimed at characterizing the functional progression of the endothelial (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) of the coronary microvasculature between youth and old age, as well as at determining the mechanisms of the observed changes on the basis of the glucose tolerance, mitochondrial energy metabolism, and oxidative stress. Male rats were divided into four age groups (3, 6, 11, and 17 months for the young (Y), young adult (YA), middle-aged (MA), and old (O) animals). The cardiac mechanical function, endothelial-dependent dilatation (EDD) and endothelial-independent dilatation (EID) of the coronary microvasculature were determined in a Langendorff preparation. The mitochondrial respiration and H2O2 production were evaluated and completed by ex vivo measurements of oxidative stress. EDD progressively decreased from youth to old age. The relaxation properties of the SMCs, although high in the Y rats, decreased drastically between youth and young adulthood and stabilized thereafter, paralleling the reduction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. The ECs dilatation activity, low at youth, was stimulated in YA animals and returned to their initial level at middle age. That parameter followed faithfully the progression of the amount of active cardiac endothelial nitric oxide synthase and whole body glucose intolerance. In conclusion, the progressive decrease in EDD occurring with aging is due to different functional behaviors of the ECs and SMCs, which appear to be associated with the systemic glucose intolerance and cardiac energy metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4150905  PMID: 24994535
Endothelial-dependent dilatation; Langendorff preparation; Phosphorylation; Smooth muscle cells
2.  Body adiposity dictates different mechanisms of increased coronary reactivity related to improved in vivo cardiac function 
Saturated fatty acid-rich high fat (HF) diets trigger abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiac dysfunction. This study was aimed at evaluating the effects of nascent obesity on the cardiac function of animals fed a high-fat diet and at analyzing the mechanisms by which these alterations occurred at the level of coronary reserve.
Materials and methods
Rats were fed a control (C) or a HF diet containing high proportions of saturated fatty acids for 3 months. Thereafter, their cardiac function was evaluated in vivo using a pressure probe inserted into the cavity of the left ventricle. Their heart was isolated, perfused iso-volumetrically according to the Langendorff mode and the coronary reserve was evaluated by determining the endothelial-dependent (EDV) and endothelial-independent (EIV) vasodilatations in the absence and presence of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase inhibitors (L-NAME and indomethacin). The fatty acid composition of cardiac phospholipids was then evaluated.
Although all the HF-fed rats increased their abdominal adiposity, some of them did not gain body weight (HF- group) compared to the C group whereas other ones had a higher body weight (HF+). All HF rats displayed a higher in vivo cardiac activity associated with an increased EDV. In the HF- group, the improved EDV was due to an increase in the endothelial cell vasodilatation activity whereas in the HF+ group, the enhanced EDV resulted from an improved sensitivity of coronary smooth muscle cells to nitric oxide. Furthermore, in the HF- group the main pathway implicated in the EDV was the NOS pathway while in the HF+ group the COX pathway.
Nascent obesity-induced improvement of cardiac function may be supported by an enhanced coronary reserve occurring via different mechanisms. These mechanisms implicate either the endothelial cells activity or the smooth muscle cells sensitivity depending on the body adiposity of the animals.
PMCID: PMC3996056  PMID: 24572210
Obesity; Cardiac function; Coronary reserve; Nitric oxide; Cyclooxygenase; Arachidonic acid
3.  Middle age aggravates myocardial ischemia through surprising upholding of complex II activity, oxidative stress, and reduced coronary perfusion 
Age  2010;33(3):321-336.
Aging compromises restoration of the cardiac mechanical function during reperfusion. We hypothesized that this was due to an ampler release of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study aimed at characterising ex vivo the mitochondrial ROS release during reperfusion in isolated perfused hearts of middle-aged rats. Causes and consequences on myocardial function of the observed changes were then evaluated. The hearts of rats aged 10- or 52-week old were subjected to global ischemia followed by reperfusion. Mechanical function was monitored throughout the entire procedure. Activities of the respiratory chain complexes and the ratio of aconitase to fumarase activities were determined before ischemia and at the end of reperfusion. H2O2 release was also evaluated in isolated mitochondria. During ischemia, middle-aged hearts displayed a delayed contracture, suggesting a maintained ATP production but also an increased metabolic proton production. Restoration of the mechanical function during reperfusion was however reduced in the middle-aged hearts, due to lower recovery of the coronary flow associated with higher mitochondrial oxidative stress indicated by the aconitase to fumarase ratio in the cardiac tissues. Surprisingly, activity of the respiratory chain complex II was better maintained in the hearts of middle-aged animals, probably because of an enhanced preservation of its membrane lipid environment. This can explain the higher mitochondrial oxidative stress observed in these conditions, since cardiac mitochondria produce much more H2O2 when they oxidize FADH2-linked substrates than when they use NADH-linked substrates. In conclusion, the lower restoration of the cardiac mechanical activity during reperfusion in the middle-aged hearts was due to an impaired recovery of the coronary flow and an insufficient oxygen supply. The deterioration of the coronary perfusion was explained by an increased mitochondrial ROS release related to the preservation of complex II activity during reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3168590  PMID: 20878490
Myocardial aging; Ischemia; Oxidative stress; Respiratory chain complexes

Results 1-3 (3)