The cardiac response to increased work includes a reactivation of fetal genes. The response to a decrease in cardiac work is not known. Such information is of clinical interest, because mechanical unloading can improve the functional capacity of the failing heart. We compared here the patterns of gene expression in unloaded rat heart with those in hypertrophied rat heart. Both conditions induced a re-expression of growth factors and proto- oncogenes, and a downregulation of the 'adult' isoforms, but not of the 'fetal' isoforms, of proteins regulating myocardial energetics. Therefore, opposite changes in cardiac workload in vivo induce similar patterns of gene response. Reactivation of fetal genes may underlie the functional improvement of an unloaded failing heart.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)