Mitochondria are sources of metabolic sink and arrhythmias

Fadi G. Akar, Brian O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Mitochondria have long been recognized for their central role in energy transduction and apoptosis. More recently, extensive work in multiple laboratories around the world has significantly extended the role of cardiac mitochondria from relatively static arbitrators of cell death and survival pathways to highly dynamic organelles that form interactive functional networks across cardiomyocytes. These coupled networks were shown to strongly affect cardiomyocyte responses to oxidative stress by modulating cell signaling pathways that strongly impact physiological properties. Of particular importance is the role of mitochondria in modulating key electrophysiological and calcium cycling properties in cardiomyocytes, either directly through activation of a myriad of mitochondrial ion channels or indirectly by affecting cell signaling cascades, ATP levels, and the over-all redox state of the cardiomyocyte. This important recognition has ushered a renewed interest in understanding, at a more fundamental level, the exact role that cardiac metabolism, in general and mitochondria, in particular, play in both health and disease. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances in our growing understanding of the fundamental role that cardiac mitochondria play in the genesis of lethal arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Arrhythmias
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Mitochondria
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mitochondria are sources of metabolic sink and arrhythmias'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this