2015 Volume 56 Issue 5 Pages 475-484
Exercise capacity is lowered in patients with heart failure, which limits their daily activities and also reduces their quality of life. Furthermore, lowered exercise capacity has been well demonstrated to be closely related to the severity and prognosis of heart failure. Skeletal muscle abnormalities including abnormal energy metabolism, transition of myofibers from type I to type II, mitochondrial dysfunction, reduction in muscular strength, and muscle atrophy have been shown to play a central role in lowered exercise capacity. The skeletal muscle abnormalities can be classified into the following main types: 1) low endurance due to mitochondrial dysfunction; and 2) low muscle mass and muscle strength due to imbalance of protein synthesis and degradation. The molecular mechanisms of these skeletal muscle abnormalities have been studied mainly using animal models. The current review including our recent study will focus upon the skeletal muscle abnormalities in heart failure.