Dobutamine enhances both contractile function and energy reserves in hypoperfused canine right ventricle

Kun Don Yi, H. Fred Downey, Xiaoming Bian, Min Fu, Robert T. Mallet

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16 Scopus citations


Although the β1-adrenergic agent dobutamine is used clinically to provide inotropic support to the failing myocardium, it could jeopardize the myocardium by depleting energy reserves. This investigation delineated the contractile and energetic effects of low versus high dobutamine doses in the hypoperfused right ventricular (RV) myocardium. The right coronary artery (RCA) of anesthetized dogs was cannulated for controlled perfusion with arterial blood, and regional RV contractile function was measured. RCA perfusion pressure was lowered from 100 mmHg baseline to 40 mmHg, and flow fell by 54%. At 15-min hypoperfusion, dobutamine was infused into the RCA at either 0.01 (low-dose dobutamine) or 0.06 μg·kg-1·min-1 (high-dose dobutamine) for 15 min. Regional power (systolic segment shortening x isometric developed force x heart rate) stabilized at 63% of baseline during hypoperfusion. Low-dose dobutamine restored power to baseline but did not increase RV myocardial O2 consumption (MVo2) and thus increased myocardial O2 utilization efficiency (O2UE:power/MVo2). At 5 min, high-dose dobutamine enhancement of power was similar to that of low-dose dobutamine, but by 15 min, power and O2UE fell to untreated levels. Remarkably, low-dose dobutamine tripled cytosolic phosphorylation potential; in contrast, high-dose dobutamine lowered phosphorylation potential to 45% of the untreated value. Analyses of glucose uptake and glycolytic intermediates revealed sustained enhancement of glycolysis by low-dose dobutamine, but glycolysis became limited at glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase during high-dose dobutamine treatment. In summary, low-dose dobutamine improved mechanical performance and efficiency of the hypoperfused RV myocardium while increasing myocardial energy reserves, but high-dose dobutamine failed to sustain improved function and depleted energy reserves. Dobutamine is capable of improving both contractile function and cellular energetics in the hypoperfused RV myocardium, but dosage should be carefully selected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2975-H2985
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 48-6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Glycogen
  • Glycolysis
  • Oxygen utilization efficiency
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Phosphorylation potential


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