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AimsAdenylate kinase 1 (AK1) catalyses the reaction 2ADP ↔ ATP + AMP, extracting extra energy under metabolic stress and promoting energetic homeostasis. We hypothesised that increased AK1 activity would have negligible effects at rest, but protect against ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury.Methods and ResultsCardiac-specific AK1 overexpressing mice (AK1-OE) had 31% higher AK1 activity (P = 0.009), with unchanged total creatine kinase and citrate synthase activities. Male AK1-OE exhibited mild in vivo dysfunction at baseline with lower LV pressure, impaired relaxation, and contractile reserve. LV weight was 19% higher in AK1-OE males due to higher tissue water content in the absence of hypertrophy or fibrosis. AK1-OE hearts had significantly raised creatine, unaltered total adenine nucleotides, and 20% higher AMP levels (P = 0.05), but AMP-activated protein kinase was not activated (P = 0.85). 1H-NMR revealed significant differences in LV metabolite levels compared to wild-type, with aspartate, tyrosine, sphingomyelin, cholesterol all elevated, whereas taurine and triglycerides were significantly lower. Ex vivo global no-flow I/R, caused four-of-seven AK1-OE hearts to develop terminal arrhythmia (cf. zero WT), yet surviving AK1-OE hearts had improved functional recovery. However, AK1-OE did not influence infarct size in vivo and arrhythmias were only observed ex vivo, probably as an artefact of adenine nucleotide loss during cannulation.ConclusionModest elevation of AK1 may improve functional recovery following I/R, but has unexpected impact on LV weight, function and metabolite levels under basal resting conditions, suggesting a more nuanced role for AK1 underpinning myocardial energy homeostasis and not just as a response to stress.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers in Physiology


Frontiers Media SA

Publication Date