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Circ Res. 1993 Jul;73(1):184-92.

Selective changes in cardiac gene expression during compensated hypertrophy and the transition to cardiac decompensation in rats with chronic aortic banding.

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  • 1Peter Belfer Laboratory for the Molecular Biology of Heart Failure, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md 21205.


Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is associated with reinduction of the fetal program of gene expression. It is unclear whether this pattern of cardiac gene expression changes with the development of left ventricular decompensation and failure. To answer these questions, we quantified steady-state levels of mRNA by the polymerase chain reaction in the left ventricular myocardium of rats 8 and 20 weeks after ascending aortic banding. Clinical and hemodynamic assessment identified two distinct groups of animals 20 weeks after aortic banding. The first group (20-week nonfailed LVH) demonstrated substantial LVH but no depression in systolic developed pressure per gram left ventricular weight compared with the age-matched control group. In contrast, a second group of rats exhibited clinical signs of congestive failure as well as a marked diminution in left ventricular developed pressure per gram. Assessment of the levels of mRNA encoding a panel of cardiac proteins demonstrated a greater than twofold increase in beta-myosin heavy chain mRNA and an approximately sixfold increase in atrial natriuretic factor mRNA in left ventricular myocardium of all three groups (8-week LVH, 20-week nonfailed LVH, 20-week failed LVH) when compared with appropriate age-matched control groups. In contrast, Ca(2+)-ATPase mRNA levels were decreased by 50% only in the left ventricular myocardium of animals with both clinical signs and hemodynamic indexes consistent with cardiac decompensation (20-week failed LVH). These results suggest that in rats with ascending aortic banding the hypertrophic phenotype is associated with a selective reinduction of the fetal gene program, which persists even after the development of left ventricular failure.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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