Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Atrial fibrillation alters the microRNA expression profiles of the left atria of patients with mitral stenosis

Hai Liu1, Guang-xian Chen1, Meng-ya Liang1, Han Qin1, Jian Rong2, Jian-ping Yao1 and Zhong-kai Wu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Second Department of Cardiac Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, 58 Zhongshan II Road, Guangzhou 510080, China

2 Department of Cardiopulmonary Bypass, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:10  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-10

Published: 25 January 2014



Structural changes of the left and right atria associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) in mitral stenosis (MS) patients are well known, and alterations in microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles of the right atria have also been investigated. However, miRNA changes in the left atria still require delineation. This study evaluated alterations in miRNA expression profiles of left atrial tissues from MS patients with AF relative to those with normal sinus rhythm (NSR).


Sample tissues from left atrial appendages were obtained from 12 MS patients (6 with AF) during mitral valve replacement surgery. From these tissues, miRNA expression profiles were created and analyzed using a human miRNA microarray. Results were validated via reverse-transcription and quantitative PCR for 5 selected miRNAs. Potential miRNA targets were predicted and their functions and potential pathways analyzed via the miRFocus database.


The expression levels of 22 miRNAs differed between the AF and NSR groups. Relative to NSR patients, in those with AF the expression levels of 45% (10/22) of these miRNAs were significantly higher, while those of the balance (55%, 12/22) were significantly lower. Potential miRNA targets and molecular pathways were identified.


AF alters the miRNA expression profiles of the left atria of MS patients. These findings may be useful for the biological understanding of AF in MS patients.

Atrial fibrillation; Microrna; Mitral stenosis; Microarray; Mirfocus