Mitochondria in structural and functional cardiac remodeling

Natalia Torrealba, Pablo Aranguiz, Camila Alonso, Beverly A. Rothermel, Sergio Lavandero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The heart must function continuously as it is responsible for both supplying oxygen and nutrients throughout the entire body, as well as for the transport of waste products to excretory organs. When facing either a physiological or pathological increase in cardiac demand, the heart undergoes structural and functional remodeling as a means of adapting to increased workload. These adaptive responses can include changes in gene expression, protein composition, and structure of sub-cellular organelles involved in energy production and metabolism. Mitochondria are essential for cardiac function, as they supply the ATP necessary to support continuous cycles of contraction and relaxation. In addition, mitochondria carry out other important processes, including synthesis of essential cellular components, calcium buffering, and initiation of cell death signals. Not surprisingly, mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to several cardiovascular disorders, including hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, ischemia/reperfusion and heart failure. The present chapter will discuss how changes in mitochondrial cristae structure, fusion/fission dynamics, fatty acid oxidation, ATP production, and the generation of reactive oxygen species might impact cardiac structure and function, particularly in the context of pathological hypertrophy and fibrotic response. In addition, the mechanistic role of mitochondria in autophagy and programmed cell death of cardiomyocytes will be addressed. Here we will also review strategies to improve mitochondrial function and discuss their cardioprotective potential.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Cardiac remodeling
  • Heart
  • Mitochondria
  • Sub-cellular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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