Normal cardiac contractile and relaxation function are critically dependent on a continuous energy supply. Accordingly, metabolic perturbations and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics with subsequent disruption of ATP production underpin a wide variety of cardiac diseases, including diabetic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, anthracycline cardiomyopathy, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and mitochondrial cardiomyopathies. Crucially, there are no specific treatments for preventing the onset or progression of these cardiomyopathies to heart failure, one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Therefore, new treatments are needed to target the metabolic disturbances and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics underlying these cardiomyopathies in order to improve health outcomes in these patients. However, investigation of the underlying mechanisms and the identification of novel therapeutic targets have been hampered by the lack of appropriate animal disease models. Furthermore, interspecies variation precludes the use of animal models for studying certain disorders, whereas patient-derived primary cell lines have limited lifespan and availability. Fortunately, the discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has provided a promising tool for modelling cardiomyopathies via human heart tissue in a dish. In this review article, we highlight the use of patient-derived iPSCs for studying the pathogenesis underlying cardiomyopathies associated with metabolic perturbations and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics, as the ability of iPSCs for self-renewal and differentiation makes them an ideal platform for investigating disease pathogenesis in a controlled in vitro environment. Continuing progress will help elucidate novel mechanistic pathways, and discover novel therapies for preventing the onset and progression of heart failure, thereby advancing a new era of personalised therapeutics for improving health outcomes in patients with cardiomyopathy.
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