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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006 May;25(5):579-88. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Serial gene expression profiling in the intact human heart.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology and the Center for Computational Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.



In chronic heart failure due to a dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype, the molecular bases for contractile dysfunction and chamber remodeling remain largely unidentified.


To investigate the feasibility of measuring global gene expression serially in the intact failing human heart, we performed repeated messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiling using RNA extracted from endomyocardial biopsy specimens and gene chip methodology in 8 subjects with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. In patients treated with beta-blocking agents or placebo, myocardial gene expression was measured in endomyocardial biopsy material and radionuclide ejection fraction was measured at baseline and after 4 to 12 months of treatment. Gene expression was measured for 12,625 gene sequences by using Affymetrix U95 gene chips and commercially available software. For 6 mRNAs, gene chip results were compared with measurements made by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).


In an unfiltered composite analysis of changes in expression detected in the patients with high-signal intensity chips, 241 genes showed an increase and 331 genes a decrease in mRNA abundance. There was good agreement between changes measured by quantitative RT-PCR and those determined by gene chips. There was less variance between differences in phenotype in patients sampled serially as compared between subjects with similar phenotypes sampled at baseline.


Serial gene expression profiling with association to phenotypic change is feasible in the intact human heart and may offer advantages to cross-sectional expression profiling. This study suggests that the intact failing remodeled human heart is in an activated state of gene expression, with a large net reduction in gene expression occurring as phenotypic improvement occurs.

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