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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 4 (2003), Issue 6, Pages 571-583
Primary research paper

Gene Expression Profiling on Global cDNA Arrays Gives Hints Concerning Potential Signal Transduction Pathways Involved in Cardiac Fibrosis of Renal Failure

1Department of Pathology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Krankenhausstrasse 8-10, Erlangen D-91054, Germany
2Resource Center for Genome Research, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg D-69120, Germany
3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Bergheimerstrasse 56a, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
4Department of Pathology, Grafenstrasse 9, Darmstadt 64283, Germany

Received 23 April 2003; Revised 3 September 2003; Accepted 10 October 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Cardiac remodelling with interstitial fibrosis in renal failure, which so far is only poorly understood on the molecular level, was investigated in the rat model by a global gene expression profiling analysis. Sprague–Dawley rats were subjected to subtotal nephrectomy (SNX) or sham operation (sham) and followed for 2 and 12 weeks, respectively. Heart-specific gene expression profiling, with RZPD Rat Unigene-1 cDNA arrays containing about 27 000 gene and EST sequences revealed substantial changes in gene expression in SNX compared to sham animals. Motor protein genes, growth and differentiation markers, and extracellular matrix genes were upregulated in SNX rats. Obviously, not only genes involved in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, but also genes involved in the expansion of non-vascular interstitial tissue are activated very early in animals with renal failure. Together with earlier findings in the SNX model, the present data suggest the hypothesis that the local renin–angiotensin system (RAS) may be activated by at least two pathways: (a) via second messengers and Gproteins (short-term signalling); and (b) via motor proteins, actins and integrins (longterm signalling). The study documents that complex hybridization analysis yields reproducible and promising results of patterns of gene activation pointing to signalling pathways involved in cardiac remodelling in renal failure. The complete array data are available via