Fetal-Adult Cardiac Transcriptome Analysis in Rats with Contrasting Left Ventricular Mass Reveals New Candidates for Cardiac Hypertrophy
Reactivation of fetal gene expression patterns has been implicated in common cardiac diseases in adult life including left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) in arterial hypertension. Thus, increased wall stress and neurohumoral activation are discussed to induce the return to expression of fetal genes after birth in LVH. We therefore aimed to identify novel potential candidates for LVH by analyzing fetal-adult cardiac gene expression in a genetic rat model of hypertension, i.e. the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP). To this end we performed genome-wide transcriptome analysis in SHRSP to identify differences in expression patterns between day 20 of fetal development (E20) and adult animals in week 14 in comparison to a normotensive rat strain with contrasting low LV mass, i.e. Fischer (F344). 15232 probes were detected as expressed in LV tissue obtained from rats at E20 and week 14 (p < 0.05) and subsequently screened for differential expression. We identified 24 genes with SHRSP specific up-regulation and 21 genes with down-regulation as compared to F344. Further bioinformatic analysis presented Efcab6 as a new candidate for LVH that showed only in the hypertensive SHRSP rat differential expression during development (logFC = 2.41, p < 0.001) and was significantly higher expressed in adult SHRSP rats compared with adult F344 (+ 76%) and adult normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (+ 82%). Thus, it represents an interesting new target for further functional analyses and the elucidation of mechanisms leading to LVH. Here we report a new approach to identify candidate genes for cardiac hypertrophy by combining the analysis of gene expression differences between strains with a contrasting cardiac phenotype with a comparison of fetal-adult cardiac expression patterns.