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Contrasting gene expression profiles in two canine models of atrial fibrillation

, : Contrasting gene expression profiles in two canine models of atrial fibrillation. Circulation Research 100(3): 425-433

Gene-expression changes in atrial fibrillation patients reflect both underlying heart-disease substrates and changes because of atrial fibrillation-induced atrial-tachycardia remodeling. These are difficult to separate in clinical investigations. This study assessed time-dependent mRNA expression-changes in canine models of atrial-tachycardia remodeling and congestive heart failure. Five experimental groups (5 dogs/group) were submitted to atrial (ATP, 400 bpm x 24 hours, 1 or 6 weeks) or ventricular (VTP, 240 bpm x 24 hours or 2 weeks) tachypacing. The expression of approximate to 21,700 transcripts was analyzed by microarray in isolated left-atrial cardiomyocytes and (for 18 genes) by real-time RT-PCR. Protein-expression changes were assessed by Western blot. In VTP, a large number of significant mRNA-expression changes occurred after both 24 hours (2209) and 2 weeks (2720). In ATP, fewer changes occurred at 24 hours (242) and fewer still (87) at 1 week, with no statistically-significant alterations at 6 weeks. Expression changes in VTP varied over time in complex ways. Extracellular matrix-related transcripts were strongly upregulated by VTP consistent with its pathophysiology, with 8 collagen-genes upregulated > 10-fold, fibrillin-1 8-fold and MMP2 4.5-fold at 2 weeks (time of fibrosis) but unchanged at 24 hours. Other extracellular matrix genes (eg, fibronectin, lysine oxidase-like 2) increased at both time-points (approximate to 10, approximate to 5-fold respectively). In ATP, mRNA-changes almost exclusively represented downregulation and were quantitatively smaller. This study shows that VTP-induced congestive heart failure and ATP produce qualitatively different temporally-evolving patterns of gene-expression change, and that specific transcriptomal responses associated with atrial fibrillation versus underlying heart disease substrates must be considered in assessing gene-expression changes in man.


PMID: 17234964

DOI: 10.1161/01.RES.0000258428.09589.1a

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