Downregulation of Metabolic Gene Expression in Failing Human Heart before and after Mechanical Unloading Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that several metabolic genes are downregulated in the failing human heart. We now tested the hypothesis that mechanical unloading might reverse this process. METHODS: Clinical data and myocardial tissue were collected from 14 failing hearts paired for the time of implantation and explantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and compared to 10 non-failing hearts. Transcript levels for key regulators of energy metabolism and for atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) were measured by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. RESULTS: The expression of the glucose transporter 1 and 4 (GLUT1, GLUT4), muscle carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (mCPT-1), and uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) were downregulated by up to 80% in the failing heart. Although LVAD treatment improved clinical markers of heart failure (decrease of left ventricular diastolic dimension and normalization of serum sodium), only UCP3 expression reversed to non-failing transcript levels following mechanical unloading. CONCLUSIONS: LVAD treatment only partially reverses depressed metabolic gene expression in the failing human heart. Reversal of depressed UCP3 expression may be an important mechanism for reducing the formation of oxygen-derived free radicals. Further studies are necessary to define the effects of mechanical unloading on post-transcriptional mechanisms.

author list (cited authors)

  • Razeghi, P., Young, M. E., Ying, J., Depre, C., Uray, I. P., Kolesar, J., ... Taegtmeyer, H.

citation count

  • 102

publication date

  • July 2002