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Improving mitochondrial metabolism to rescue diabetic heart failure

42 months
Approved budget:
Dr Toan Pham
Dr June-Chiew Han
Professor Andrew Taberner
Associate Professor Anthony Hickey
Dr Troy Merry
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
New Zealand currently faces a diabetic epidemic, with heart failure remaining the leading cause of premature death. In patients with Type 2 diabetes, their hearts progressively and abnormally enlarge and thus require increased energy supply. We propose that the diabetic heart suffers an impairment, and insufficiency of energy supply by the cell’s ‘powerhouse’ (mitochondria). This leads to weakened pumping ability of the heart muscle to eject blood. This project aims to investigate the link between mitochondrial function and overall pumping performance, and using a novel drug to test whether improving mitochondrial function can recover pumping ability of the diabetic heart. Experiments will be conducted using a suite of novel techniques to measure the energy inputs, outputs and efficiencies of the heart at tissue and sub-cellular levels. This project will uncover the underlying mechanisms and the therapeutic potential of targeting the energy supply chain of the diabetic heart.