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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Jul;295(1):H220-6. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00289.2008. Epub 2008 May 16.

Alteration of gene expression during progression of hypertension-induced cardiac dysfunction in rats.

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Dept. of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5174, USA.


Hypertension induced by high-salt diet in Dahl salt-sensitive rats leads to compensatory cardiac hypertrophy by approximately 11 wk, cardiac dysfunction at approximately 17 wk, and death from cardiac dysfunction at approximately 21 wk. It is unclear what molecular hallmarks distinguish the compensatory hypertrophy from the decompensated cardiac dysfunction phase. Here we compared the gene expression in rat cardiac tissue from the compensatory hypertrophic phase (11 wk, n = 6) with the cardiac dysfunction phase (17 wk, n = 6) and with age-matched normotensive controls. Messenger RNA levels of 93 genes, selected based on predicted association with cardiac dysfunction, were measured by quantitative real-time PCR. In the hypertrophic phase, the expression of three genes, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP; P = 0.0089), brain natriuretic peptide (P = 0.0012), and endothelin-1 precursor (P = 0.028), significantly increased, whereas there was decreased expression of 24 other genes including SOD2 (P = 0.0148), sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 2a (P = 0.0002), and ryanodine receptor 2 (P = 0.0319). In the subsequent heart cardiac dysfunction phase, the expression of an additional 20 genes including inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS; P = 0.0135), angiotensin I-converting enzyme (P = 0.0082), and IL-1beta (P < 0.0001) increased, whereas the expression of seven genes decreased compared with those of age-matched controls. Furthermore, the expression of 22 genes, including prepro-endothelin-1, ANP, angiotensin I-converting enzyme, beta(1)-adrenergic receptor, SOD2, and endothelial NOS, significantly changed in the cardiac dysfunction phase compared with the compensatory hypertrophic phase. Finally, principal component analysis successfully segregated animals with decompensatory cardiac dysfunction from controls, as well as from animals at the compensated hypertrophy phase, suggesting that we have identified molecular markers for each stage of the disease.

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