Myocardial adipose triglyceride lipase overexpression protects diabetic mice from the development of lipotoxic cardiomyopathy. Pulinilkunnil T, Kienesberger PC, Nagendran J, Waller TJ, Young ME, Kershaw EE, Korbutt G, Haemmerle G, Zechner R, Dyck JR. Diabetes. 2013 May;62(5):1464-77.
Although diabetic cardiomyopathy is associated with enhanced intramyocardial triacylglycerol (TAG) levels, the role of TAG catabolizing enzymes in this process is unclear. Because the TAG hydrolase, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), regulates baseline cardiac metabolism and function, we examined whether alterations in cardiomyocyte ATGL impact cardiac function during uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. In genetic (Akita) and pharmacological (streptozotocin) murine models of type 1 diabetes, cardiac ATGL protein expression and TAG content were significantly increased. To determine whether increased ATGL expression during diabetes is detrimental or beneficial to cardiac function, we studied streptozotocin-diabetic mice with heterozygous ATGL deficiency and cardiomyocyte-specific ATGL overexpression. After diabetes, streptozotocin-diabetic mice with heterozygous ATGL deficiency displayed increased TAG accumulation, lipotoxicity, and diastolic dysfunction comparable to wild-type mice. In contrast, myosin heavy chain promoter (MHC)-ATGL mice were resistant to diabetes-induced increases in intramyocardial TAG levels, lipotoxicity, and cardiac dysfunction. Moreover, hearts from diabetic MHC-ATGL mice exhibited decreased reliance on palmitate oxidation and blunted peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-α activation. Collectively, this study shows that after diabetes, increased cardiac ATGL expression is an adaptive, albeit insufficient, response to compensate for the accumulation of myocardialTAG, and that overexpression of ATGL is sufficient to ameliorate diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.