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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 926567, 12 pages
Review Article

Transcriptome and Molecular Endocrinology Aspects of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

1Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Osteoporosis Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 5th floor Shariati Hospital, North Kargar Avenue, Tehran 1411413137, Iran
3Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Diabetes, Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

Received 6 June 2015; Revised 20 September 2015; Accepted 7 October 2015

Academic Editor: Kazuhiko Kotani

Copyright © 2015 Zhila Maghbooli and Arash Hossein-nezhad. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of published literature on differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in human epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) to identify molecules associated with CVDs. A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, SCOPUS, and ISI Web of Science literature databases for papers published before October 2014 that addressed EAT genes and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). We included original papers that had performed gene expressions in EAT of patients undergoing open-heart surgery. The Reporting Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies (PRIMARK) assessment tool was also used for methodological quality assessment. From the 180 papers identified by our initial search strategy, 40 studies met the inclusion criteria and presented DEGs in EAT samples from patients with and without CVDs. The included studies reported 42 DEGs identified through comparison of EAT-specific gene expression in patients with and without CVDs. Among the 42 DEGs, genes involved in regulating apoptosis had higher enrichment scores. Notably, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor protein p53 (TP53) were the main hub genes in the network. The results suggest that regulation of apoptosis in EAT is critical for CVD development. Moreover, IL-6 and TP53 as hub genes could serve as biomarkers and therapeutic targets for CVDs.