Ribose intervention in the cardiac pentose phosphate pathway is not species-specific

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Science  17 Feb 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4637, pp. 712-714
DOI: 10.1126/science.6420889


Ribose is cardioprotective in the rat in a variety of pathophysiological conditions. The metabolic basis for this effect is the low capacity of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in the myocardium. Ribose bypasses this pathway, elevates the available pool of 5-phosphoribosyl-l-pyrophosphate, and thus stimulates the biosynthesis of adenine nucleotides. In this study reported here the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the oxidative pentose phosphate shunt, was very low in the human heart and was of the same order of magnitude in the myocardium of various animal species. Furthermore, ribose had a similar stimulating effect on myocardial adenine nucleotide biosynthesis in the guinea pig, in which hemodynamic parameters are different from those in the rat. It is concluded that the metabolic basis for the effectiveness of ribose is similar in all species investigated.