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Genome regions once mislabeled 'junk' linked to heart failure
Date:4/25/2014

go about daily tasks. Sometimes the condition develops after an obvious trigger such as a heart attack or infection, but other times the causes are less clear.

In the new study, the investigators found that unlike other RNA molecules, expression patterns of long noncoding RNAs could distinguish between two major types of heart failure and between failing hearts before and after they received LVAD support.

"We don't know whether these changes in long noncoding RNAs are a cause or an effect of heart failure," Nerbonne said. "But it seems likely they play some role in coordinating the regulation of multiple genes involved in heart function."

Nerbonne pointed out that all types of RNA molecules they examined could make the obvious distinction: telling the difference between failing and nonfailing hearts. But only expression of the long noncoding RNAs was measurably different between heart failure associated with a heart attack (ischemic) and heart failure without the obvious trigger of blocked arteries (nonischemic). Similarly, only long noncoding RNAs significantly changed expression patterns after implantation of left ventricular assist devices.

Because of the difficulty in obtaining human heart tissue, the study's sample size was relatively small, Nerbonne said. Her team analyzed eight nonfailing hearts, eight hearts in ischemic heart failure and eight hearts in nonischemic heart failure. Though small, the study is unique because each of the 16 failing hearts was sampled twice, once before and once after LVAD support.

According to Nerbonne, this before-and-after sampling of heart tissue is an unusual feature of this study and one of its strengths. Cardiac surgeons first removed a sample of heart tissue while implanting the LVAD. Then, months later, transplant surgeons sampled the same failing hearts when each patient received a new donor organ. Previous studies comparing heart function before and after implanting a pump us
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Contact: Diane Duke Williams
williamsdia@wustl.edu
314-286-0111
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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Genome regions once mislabeled 'junk' linked to heart failure
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