The potential role of sphingolipid-mediated cell signaling in the interaction between hyperglycemia, acute myocardial infarction and heart failure
Introduction: Patients with acute myocardial infarction or heart failure frequently have abnormalities of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, both of which are associated with a poor outcome. Sphingolipids are a class of lipids, which play important roles in cellular biological processes including insulin resistance and myocardial ischemia. Areas covered: This review examines the available evidence linking abnormalities in sphingolipids, glucose tolerance and insulin resistance to acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. Expert opinion: Pharmacological and genetic activation of enzymes controlling key sphingolipids synthesis, such as sphingosine-1-phosphate, increases insulin sensitivity in rodents and increases myocardial tolerance to ischemia. Major projects are being realized to develop clinical strategies to manipulate sphingolipid metabolism in this clinical settings, with the ultimate goal of increasing insulin sensitivity and augmenting myocardial tolerance to ischemia. Thus, a clear understanding of the sphingolipid-mediated signaling in ischemic heart disease is required to devise strategies to develop novel agents and technologies that directly target this signaling pathway.