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      Regional Heterogeneity in Gene Expression Profiles: A Transcript Analysis in Human and Rat Heart

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          Background: Investigations involving biopsies of human cardiac tissue often assume that myocardial samples from a specific location are representative of the entire heart. Hypothesis: There are significant regional differences in gene expression in the heart. Methods: We used two models. In the first model, seven whole human hearts were cut in 1-cm slices from apex to base and 11 distinct regions were sampled. Full thickness left ventricular tissue was further subdivided equally into an inner, outer, and middle region. In the second model, hearts were removed from adult Sprague-Dawley rats and were divided into 4 regions. Using species-specific quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we measured transcript levels of myosin heavy chain β (MHC-β), glucose transporter 1 (GLUT 1), and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) in tissue samples from both models. Results: In human heart, there were significant differences in transcript levels between regions. The following patterns could be recognized among the seven hearts. ANF expression was highest in the subendocardial region. MHC-β and GLUT 1 transcript levels were higher in the right ventricle than the left ventricle. As expected, ANF transcript levels were highest in the atria, where MHC-β and GLUT 1 expression was low. Analogous to the human studies, MHC-β and GLUT 1 transcript levels were low in rat atria as compared to ventricles. In rat heart, MHC-β expression was higher in the left ventricle than the right ventricle while GLUT 1 expression was not significantly different between ventricles. Conclusion: Despite the large variability in transcript levels among different regions in human hearts, certain patterns in gene expression emerged suggesting that different anatomical regions of the heart also differ in respect to gene expression.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Unloaded heart in vivo replicates fetal gene expression of cardiac hypertrophy.

          The cardiac response to increased work includes a reactivation of fetal genes. The response to a decrease in cardiac work is not known. Such information is of clinical interest, because mechanical unloading can improve the functional capacity of the failing heart. We compared here the patterns of gene expression in unloaded rat heart with those in hypertrophied rat heart. Both conditions induced a re-expression of growth factors and proto-oncogenes, and a downregulation of the 'adult' isoforms, but not of the 'fetal' isoforms, of proteins regulating myocardial energetics. Therefore, opposite changes in cardiac workload in vivo induce similar patterns of gene response. Reactivation of fetal genes may underlie the functional improvement of an unloaded failing heart.
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            Differential gene expression and genomic patient stratification following left ventricular assist device support.

            We sought to determine whether mechanical unloading of the failing human heart with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) results in significant changes in overall left ventricular gene expression. Mechanical circulatory support by LVAD in end-stage human heart failure (HF) can result in beneficial reverse remodeling of myocardial structure and function. The molecular mechanisms behind this salutary process are not well understood. Left ventricular samples from six male patients were harvested during LVAD placement and subsequently at the time of explantation. Cardiac gene expression was determined using oligonucleotide microarrays. Paired t test analysis revealed numerous genes that were regulated in a statistically significant fashion, including the downregulation of several previously studied genes. Further statistical analysis revealed that the overall gene expression profiles could significantly distinguish pre- and post-LVAD status. Interestingly, the data also identified two distinct groups among the pre-LVAD failing hearts, in which there was blind segregation of patients based on HF etiology. In addition to the substantial divergence in genomic profiles for these two HF groups, there were significant differences in their corresponding LVAD-mediated regulation of gene expression. Support with an LVAD in HF induces significant changes in myocardial gene expression, as pre- and post-LVAD hearts demonstrate significantly distinct genomic footprints. Thus, reverse remodeling is associated with a specific pattern of gene expression. Moreover, we found that deoxyribonucleic acid microarray technology could distinguish, in a blind manner, patients with different HF etiologies. Expansion of this study and further development of these statistical methods may facilitate prognostic prediction of the individual patient response to LVAD support.
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              Hypoxia in vivo decreases peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha-regulated gene expression in rat heart.

              We tested the hypothesis that hypoxia decreases PPARalpha-regulated gene expression in heart muscle in vivo. In two rat models of systemic hypoxia (cobalt chloride treatment and iso-volemic hemodilution), transcript levels of PPARalpha and PPARalpha-regulated genes (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4), muscle carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I (mCPT-I), and malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD)) were measured using real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Data were normalized to the housekeeping gene beta-actin. Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 2 (PDK2), which are not regulated by PPARalpha, served as controls. CoCl(2) treatment decreased PPARalpha, PDK4, mCPT-I, and MCD mRNA levels. Iso-volemic anemia also caused a significant decrease in PPARalpha, PDK4, and MCD mRNA levels. Transcript levels of mCPT-I showed a slight, but not significant decrease (P = 0.08). Gene expression of beta-actin, ANF, and PDK2 did not change with either CoCl(2) treatment nor with anemia. Myocardial PPARalpha-regulated gene expression is decreased in two models of hypoxia in vivo. These results suggest a transcriptional mechanism for decreased fatty oxidation and increased reliance of the heart for glucose during hypoxia. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2003
                17 October 2003
                : 100
                : 2
                : 73-79
                aDivision of Cardiology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School and bSt. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Tex., USA
                73042 Cardiology 2003;100:73–79
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 24, Pages: 7
                General Cardiology – Basic Science


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