Mitochondrial redox and TCA cycle metabolite signaling in the heart.
Mitochondria are essential signaling organelles that regulate a broad range of cellular processes and thereby heart function. Multiple mechanisms participate in the communication between mitochondria and the nucleus that maintain cardiomyocyte homeostasis, including mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and metabolic shifts in TCA cycle metabolite availability. An increased rate of ROS generation can cause irreversible damage to the cell and proposed to be a leading cause of many pathologies, including accelerated aging and heart disease. Myocardial impairments are also characterised by specific coordinated metabolic changes and dysregulated inflammatory responses. Hence, the mitochondrial respiratory chain is an important mediator between health and disease in the heart. This review will first outline the sources of ROS in the heart, mitochondrial metabolite dynamics, and provide an overview of their implications for heart disease. In addition, we will concentrate our discussion around current cardioprotective strategies relevant to mitochondrial ROS. Thorough understanding of mitochondrial signaling and the complex interplay with vital signaling pathways in the heart might allow us to develop novel therapeutic approaches to cardiovascular disease.