Effect of long-term food restriction on cardiac mechanics

Simon Klebanov, Jeremiah T. Herlihy, Gregory L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Food restriction (FR) is the only known intervention capable of increasing mammalian life span. It not only increases longevity, but reduces the incidence of a broad spectrum of age-related pathologies, including cardiomyopathy, and retards the physiological decline associated with aging. Previous work from this laboratory has shown that long-term FR affects the contractile machinery of the heart, shifting the cardiac myosin profile from the fast, V1 isoform to the slow, V3 isoform. The aim of the present study was to determine whether FR also induces changes in cardiac mechanics. Isolated, isovolumically beating hearts were examined from four groups of rats: 1) ad libitum-fed rats killed at 10-13 mo of age, 2) FR rats offered only 60% of the calories consumed by ad libitum-fed rats and killed at the same age, 3) young ad libitum-fed rats having the same heart weights as the FR rats, and 4) ad libitum-fed rats subjected to short-term FR, i.e., for the last 3 wk of life, and also killed at 10-13 mo of age. Both short-and long- term FR profoundly and to approximately the same extent affected cardiac mechanics. Hearts from FR rats developed much higher pressures than hearts from the ad libitum-fed rats under conditions of low-calcium perfusate. This difference disappeared, however, when contractility was enhanced by either calcium or isoproterenol. FR prolonged both contraction and relaxation times. Long-term ad libitum-fed rats (adult, 10-13 mo of age) had a lower isoproterenol sensitivity than the young ad libitum-fed rats (10 wk of age). Both short- and long-term FR restored the sensitivity to isoproterenol. In summary, FR profoundly affects many aspects of cardiac mechanics, enhancing some age-related changes (prolongation of the contraction and relaxation times), attenuating another (increasing the isoproterenol sensitivity), and, finally, inducing some unique changes unrelated to age (increased pressure development under low-calcium perfusate).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2333-H2342
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 42-5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Calcium
  • Diet
  • Isoproterenol
  • Langendorff preparation
  • Ventricular pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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