Glycolaldehyde-derived high-molecular-weight advanced glycation end-products induce cardiac dysfunction through structural and functional remodeling of cardiomyocytes

Dorien Deluyker, Lize Evens, Sibren Haesen, Ronald B. Driesen, Diederik Kuster, Maxim Verboven, Hanne Beliën, Jolanda van der Velden, Ivo Lambrichts, Virginie Bito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/Aims: High-molecular-weight advanced glycation end-products (HMW-AGEs) are abundantly present in our Western diet. There is growing evidence reporting that HMW-AGEs contribute to the development of cardiovascular dysfunction in vivo, next to the well-known low-molecular-weight AGEs. The goal of our study is to assess the ultrastructure and function of cardiomyocytes after chronic exposure to HMW-AGEs. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms is essential to create new opportunities for further research on the specific role of HMW-AGEs in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Methods: Adult male rats were randomly assigned to daily intraperitoneal injection for six weeks with either HMW-AGEs (20 mg/kg/day) or a control solution. Hemodynamic measurements were performed at sacrifice. Single cardiomyocytes from the left ventricle were obtained by enzymatic dissociation through retrograde perfusion of the aorta. Unloaded cell shortening, time to peak and time to 50% relaxation were measured during field stimulation and normalized to diastolic length. L-type Ca2+ current density (ICaL) and steady-state inactivation of ICaL were measured during whole-cell ruptured patch clamp. Myofilament functional properties were measured in membrane-permeabilized cardiomyocytes. Ultrastructural examination of cardiac tissue was performed using electron microscopy. Results: Rats injected with HMW-AGEs displayed in vivo cardiac dysfunction, characterized by significant changes in left ventricular peak rate pressure rise and decline accompanied with an increased heart mass. Single cardiomyocytes isolated from the left ventricle revealed concentric hypertrophy, indicated by the increase in cellular width. Unloaded fractional cell shortening was significantly reduced in cells derived from the HMW-AGEs group and was associated with slower kinetics. Peak L-type Ca2+ current density was significantly decreased in the HMW-AGEs group. L-type Ca2+ channel availability was significantly shifted towards more negative potentials after HMW-AGEs injection. The impact of HMW-AGEs on myofilament function was measured in membrane-permeabilized cardiomyocytes showing a reduction in passive force, maximal Ca2+ activated force and rate of force development. Ultrastructural examination of cardiac tissue demonstrated adverse structural remodeling in HMW-AGEs group characterized by a disruption of the cyto-architecture, a decreased mitochondrial density and altered mitochondrial function. Conclusion: Our data indicate that HMW-AGEs induce structural and functional cellular remodeling via a different working mechanism as the well-known LMW-AGEs. Results of our research open the door for new strategies targeting HMW-AGEs to improve cardiac outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-824
Number of pages16
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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