Over the past 20 years, stable isotopes combined with isotopomer analysis have proven to be a powerful approach to probe the dynamics of metabolism in various biological systems, including the heart. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how isotopomer analysis of metabolic fluxes can provide novel insights into the myocardial phenotype. Specifically, building on our past experience using NMR spectroscopy and GC–MS as applied to investigations of cardiac energy metabolism, we highlight specific complex metabolic networks that would not be predicted by classical biochemistry or by static measurements of metabolite, protein and mRNA levels.

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