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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Selection of reference genes in different myocardial regions of an in vivo ischemia/reperfusion rat model for normalization of antioxidant gene expression

Nicoletta Vesentini1*, Cristina Barsanti2, Alessandro Martino3, Claudia Kusmic1*, Andrea Ripoli4, AnnaMaria Rossi3 and Antonio L'Abbate2

Author Affiliations

1 Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Pisa, Italy

2 Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy

3 Dipartimento di Biologia-Sezione Genetica, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

4 Fondazione Toscana "Gabriele Monasterio", Pisa Italy

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:124  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-124

Published: 29 February 2012

Abstract

Background

Changes in cardiac gene expression due to myocardial injury are usually assessed in whole heart tissue. However, as the heart is a heterogeneous system, spatial and temporal heterogeneity is expected in gene expression.

Results

In an ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) rat model we evaluated gene expression of mitochondrial and cytoplasmatic superoxide dismutase (MnSod, Cu-ZnSod) and thioredoxin reductase (trxr1) upon short (4 h) and long (72 h) reperfusion times in the right ventricle (RV), and in the ischemic/reperfused (IRR) and the remote region (RR) of the left ventricle. Gene expression was assessed by Real-time reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). In order to select most stable reference genes suitable for normalization purposes, in each myocardial region we tested nine putative reference genes by geNorm analysis. The genes investigated were: Actin beta (actb), Glyceraldehyde-3-P-dehydrogenase (gapdh), Ribosomal protein L13A (rpl13a), Tyrosine 3-monooxygenase (ywhaz), Beta-glucuronidase (gusb), Hypoxanthine guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (hprt), TATA binding box protein (tbp), Hydroxymethylbilane synthase (hmbs), Polyadenylate-binding protein 1 (papbn1). According to our findings, most stable reference genes in the RV and RR were hmbs/hprt and hmbs/tbp/hprt respectively. In the IRR, six reference genes were recommended for normalization purposes; however, in view of experimental feasibility limitations, target gene expression could be normalized against the three most stable reference genes (ywhaz/pabp/hmbs) without loss of sensitivity. In all cases MnSod and Cu-ZnSod expression decreased upon long reperfusion, the former in all myocardial regions and the latter in IRR alone. trxr1 expression did not vary.

Conclusions

This study provides a validation of reference genes in the RV and in the anterior and posterior wall of the LV of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion model and shows that gene expression should be assessed separately in each region.