The incidence of chronic heart failure is skyrocketing in Europe. This epidemic has multiple reasons: aging of population, decreased mortality due to cardiac disorders, and wide spreading of metabolic risks – obesity and diabetes.
We study the connection of metabolic disorders and heart failure at a variety of model rat strains. The failing heart is unable to execute its function, i.e. pumping blood to the whole body, and it is, therefore, necessary to implant a ventricular assist device or even transplant the heart. We analyse samples from patients undergoing the heart transplant to investigate whether there is a connection between heart failure and mitochondrial defects because mitochondria are the key energy producers in cells. Simultaneously, we search for both characteristic markers for identification of new patients and potential targets for treatment.
A failing rat heart can be distinguished from a healthy rat heart by electrocardiography (ECG). During this examination, the rat is under a complete narcosis