Metabolic cardioprotection by pyruvate: Recent progress

Robert T. Mallet, Jie Sun, E. Marty Knott, Arti B. Sharma, Albert H. Olivencia-Yurvati

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

106 Scopus citations


Pyruvate, a natural metabolic fuel and antioxidant in myocardium and other tissues, exerts a variety of cardioprotective actions when provided at supraphysiological concentrations. Pyruvate increases cardiac contractile performance and myocardial energy state, bolsters endogenous antioxidant systems, and protects myocardium from ischemia-reperfusion injury and oxidant stress. This article reviews and discusses basic and clinically oriented research conducted over the last several years that has yielded fundamental information on pyruvate's inotropic and cardioprotective mechanisms. Particular attention is placed on pyruvate's enhancement of sarcoplasmic reticular Ca 2+ transport, its antioxidant properties, and its ability to mitigate reversible and irreversible myocardial injury. These research efforts are establishing the essential foundation for clinical application of pyruvate therapy in numerous settings including cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, myocardial stunning, and cardiac failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-443
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Antioxidant
  • Bypass surgery
  • Cardiac stunning
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Ethyl pyruvate
  • Infarction
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Phosphorylation potential
  • Reactive oxygen species

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