Effects of altered cellular ultrastructure on energy metabolism in diabetic cardiomyopathy: an in-silico study

Shouryadipta Ghosh, Giovanni Guglielmi, Ioannis Orfanidis, Fabian Spill, Anthony Hickey, Eric Hanssen, Vijay Rajagopal

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Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a leading cause of heart failure in diabetes. At the cellular level, diabetic cardiomyopathy leads to altered mitochondrial energy metabolism and cardiomyocyte ultrastructure. We combined electron microscopy (EM) and computational modelling to understand the impact of diabetes-induced ultrastructural changes on cardiac bioenergetics. We collected transverse micrographs of multiple control and type I diabetic rat cardiomyocytes using EM. Micrographs were converted to finite-element meshes, and bioenergetics was simulated over them using a biophysical model. The simulations also incorporated depressed mitochondrial capacity for oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and creatine kinase (CK) reactions to simulate diabetes-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Analysis of micrographs revealed a 14% decline in mitochondrial area fraction in diabetic cardiomyocytes, and an irregular arrangement of mitochondria and myofibrils. Simulations predicted that this irregular arrangement, coupled with the depressed activity of mitochondrial CK enzymes, leads to large spatial variation in adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio profile of diabetic cardiomyocytes. However, when spatially averaged, myofibrillar ADP/ATP ratios of a cardiomyocyte do not change with diabetes. Instead, average concentration of inorganic phosphate rises by 40% owing to lower mitochondrial area fraction and dysfunction in OXPHOS. These simulations indicate that a disorganized cellular ultrastructure negatively impacts metabolite transport in diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20210323
JournalRoyal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Issue number1864
Early online date3 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022


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