Herein, we utilize the power of shotgun lipidomics to demonstrate that modest caloric restriction results in phospholipid depletion, membrane remodeling, and triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation in murine myocardium. After brief periods of fasting (4 and 12 h), substantial decreases occurred in the choline and ethanolamine glycerophospholipid pools in murine myocardium (collectively, a decrease of 39 nmol of phospholipid per milligram of protein at 12 h representing ∼25% of total phospholipid mass and ∼20 cal of Gibbs free energy per gram wet weight of tissue). Remarkably, the selective loss of long-chain polyunsaturated molecular species was present in the major phospholipid classes thereby altering the physical properties of myocardial membranes. No decrease in TAG mass was present in myocardium during fasting, but rather myocardial TAG increased during 12 h of refeeding nearly 3-fold returning to baseline levels only after 24 h of refeeding. No alterations in other examined lipid classes were present during fasting. In contrast to these lipid alterations in myocardium, no decreases in phospholipid mass were present in skeletal muscle myocytes and a dramatic decrease in skeletal muscle (or skeletal muscle associated) TAG mass was prominent after 12 h of fasting. These results identify phospholipids as a rapidly mobilizable energy source during modest caloric deprivation in murine myocardium, while triacylglycerols are a major source of energy reserve in skeletal muscle. Collectively, these results demonstrate dramatic alterations in the membrane composition of mildly fasted mammalian myocardium that identify the unanticipated plasticity of myocardial phospholipids to adapt to modest chemical and physical perturbations.
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