Gene expression profile of cardiomyocytes in hypertrophic heart induced by continuous norepinephrine infusion in the rats

P. Li, J. Li, X. Feng, Z. Li, R. Hou, C. Han, Y. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Catecholamines play an important role in the development of cardiac hypertrophy. To observe cardiomyocyte-specific gene expression changes induced by catecholamines in vivo, left ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats after continuous infusion of norepinephrine (NE; 0.2 mg/kg per hour intravenously) for 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 7 days. The gene expression profiles of these cells during different NE infusion stages were assessed by using a cDNA microarray, and the microarray data were further analyzed by a clustering method. Cardiac hypertrophy was induced upon continuous NE infusion, with the peak at 3 days. Meanwhile, manifest changes in gene expression profile within cardiomyocytes over the time course were revealed, most of the genes never having been reported to be involved in cardiac hypertrophy. The number of genes displaying differential expression also peaked at the middle stage of infusion (2-3 days), and the majority of the signaling molecules were found differentially expressed mainly at this stage, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and non-receptor tyrosine kinases, etc. The tumor suppressor p53 was found up-regulated at very early (0.5 days) and late stages (7 days) of NE infusion. Self-organization clustering analysis revealed subsets of coordinate regulated genes. One set consisted of several enzymes involved in energy metabolism, including carnitine octanoyltransferase, ATP syhthase subunit c, pancreatic lipase and glycogen phosphorylase, possessing a similar expression pattern with a rapidly elevated expression level at the early stage of NE infusion. This is the first study to provide transcriptional information for cardiomyocytes, a single cell type, in the heart during the development of cardiac hypertrophy in vivo, and may provide accurate clues to elaborate hypotheses about the evolution of this pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2200-2209
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac
  • Gene expression profile
  • Hypertrophy
  • Myocyte
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


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