Sci Rep 9 (1) 3179 [2019-02-28; online 2019-02-28]
Heart failure affects 2-3% of adult Western population. Prevalence of heart failure with preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (HFpEF) increases. Studies suggest HFpEF patients to have altered myocardial structure and functional changes such as incomplete relaxation and increased cardiac stiffness. We hypothesised that patients undergoing elective coronary bypass surgery (CABG) with HFpEF characteristics would show distinctive gene expression compared to patients with normal LV physiology. Myocardial biopsies for mRNA expression analysis were obtained from sixteen patients with LV ejection fraction ≥45%. Five out of 16 patients (31%) had echocardiographic characteristics and increased NTproBNP levels indicative of HFpEF and this group was used as HFpEF proxy, while 11 patients had Normal LV physiology. Utilising principal component analysis, the gene expression data clustered into two groups, corresponding to HFpEF proxy and Normal physiology, and 743 differentially expressed genes were identified. The associated top biological functions were cardiac muscle contraction, oxidative phosphorylation, cellular remodelling and matrix organisation. Our results also indicate that upstream regulatory events, including inhibition of transcription factors STAT4, SRF and TP53, and activation of transcription repressors HEY2 and KDM5A, could provide explanatory mechanisms to observed gene expression differences and ultimately cardiac dysfunction in the HFpEF proxy group.