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Physiol Genomics. 2012 Jan 18;44(1):99-109. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00094.2011. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Myocardial transcriptome analysis of human arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Herz- und Diabeteszentrum NRW, Universitätsklinikum der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Klinik für Thorax- und Kardiovaskularchirurgie, Erich und Hanna Klessmann-Institut für Kardiovaskuläre Forschung und Entwicklung, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.

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  • Physiol Genomics. 2012 Feb;44(4):281.


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited cardiomyopathy primarily of the right ventricle characterized through fibrofatty replacement of cardiomyocytes. The genetic etiology in ARVC patients is most commonly caused by dominant inheritance and high genetic heterogeneity. Though histological examinations of ARVC-affected human myocardium reveals fibrolipomatous replacement, the molecular mechanisms leading to loss of cardiomyocytes are largely unknown. We therefore analyzed the transcriptomes of six ARVC hearts and compared our findings to six nonfailing donor hearts (NF). To characterize the ARVC-specific transcriptome, we compared our findings to samples from seven patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The myocardial DCM and ARVC samples were prepared from hearts explanted during an orthotopic heart transplantation representing myocardium from end-stage heart failure patients (NYHA IV). From each heart, left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) myocardial samples were analyzed by Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus 2.0 arrays, adding up to six sample groups. Unsupervised cluster analyses of the groups revealed a clear separation of NF and cardiomyopathy samples. However, in contrast to the other samples, the analyses revealed no distinct expression pattern in LV and RV of myocardial ARVC samples. We further identified differentially expressed transcripts using t-tests and found transcripts separating diseased and NF ventricular myocardium. Of note, in failing myocardium only ~15-16% of the genes are commonly regulated compared with NF samples. In addition both cardiomyopathies are clearly distinct on the transcriptome level. Comparison of the expression patterns between the failing RV and LV using a paired t-test revealed a lack of major differences between LV and RV gene expression in ARVC hearts. Our study is the first analysis of specific ARVC-related RV and LV gene expression patterns in terminal failing human hearts.

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