Cardiomyocyte-specific inactivation of thyroid hormone in pathologic ventricular hypertrophy: an adaptative response or part of the problem?
Myocardial right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy due to pulmonary hypertension is aimed at normalizing ventricular wall stress. Depending on the degree of pressure overload, RV hypertrophy may progress to a state of impaired contractile function and heart failure, but this cannot be discerned during the early stages of ventricular remodeling. We tested whether critical differences in gene expression profiles exist between ventricles before the ultimate development of either a compensated or decompensated hypertrophic phenotype. Both phenotypes were selectively induced in Wistar rats by a single subcutaneous injection of either a low or a high dose of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid monocrotaline (MCT). Spotted oligonucleotide microarrays were used to investigate pressure-dependent cardiac gene expression profiles at 2 wk after the MCT injections, between control rats and rats that would ultimately develop either compensated or decompensated hypertrophy. Clustering of significantly regulated genes revealed specific expression profiles for each group, although the degree of hypertrophy was still similar in both. The ventricles destined to progress to failure showed activation of pro-apoptotic pathways, particularly related to mitochondria, whereas the group developing compensated hypertrophy showed blocked pro-death effector signaling via p38-MAPK, through upregulation of MAPK phosphatase-1. In summary, we show that, already at an early time point, pivotal differences in gene expression exist between ventricles that will ultimately develop either a compensated or a decompensated phenotype, depending on the degree of pressure overload. These data reveal genes that may provide markers for the early prediction of clinical outcome as well as potential targets for early intervention.