Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transcriptional profile of isoproterenol-induced cardiomyopathy and comparison to exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy and human cardiac failure

Cristi L Galindo1, Michael A Skinner2, Mounir Errami1, L Danielle Olson1, David A Watson1, Jing Li1, John F McCormick1, Lauren J McIver1, Neil M Kumar1, Thinh Q Pham1 and Harold R Garner1*

Author Affiliations

1 McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

2 Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Texas, USA

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BMC Physiology 2009, 9:23  doi:10.1186/1472-6793-9-23

Published: 9 December 2009



Isoproterenol-induced cardiac hypertrophy in mice has been used in a number of studies to model human cardiac disease. In this study, we compared the transcriptional response of the heart in this model to other animal models of heart failure, as well as to the transcriptional response of human hearts suffering heart failure.


We performed microarray analyses on RNA from mice with isoproterenol-induced cardiac hypertrophy and mice with exercise-induced physiological hypertrophy and identified 865 and 2,534 genes that were significantly altered in pathological and physiological cardiac hypertrophy models, respectively. We compared our results to 18 different microarray data sets (318 individual arrays) representing various other animal models and four human cardiac diseases and identified a canonical set of 64 genes that are generally altered in failing hearts. We also produced a pairwise similarity matrix to illustrate relatedness of animal models with human heart disease and identified ischemia as the human condition that most resembles isoproterenol treatment.


The overall patterns of gene expression are consistent with observed structural and molecular differences between normal and maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy and support a role for the immune system (or immune cell infiltration) in the pathology of stress-induced hypertrophy. Cross-study comparisons such as the results presented here provide targets for further research of cardiac disease that might generally apply to maladaptive cardiac stresses and are also a means of identifying which animal models best recapitulate human disease at the transcriptional level.