Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) and salt-resistant (DR) inbred rat strains represent a well established animal model for cardiovascular research. Upon prolonged administration of high-salt-containing diet, DS rats develop systemic hypertension, and as a consequence they develop left ventricular hypertrophy, followed by heart failure. The aim of this work was to explore whether this animal model is suitable to identify biomarkers that characterize defined stages of cardiac pathophysiological conditions. The work had to be performed in two stages: in the first part proteomic differences that are attributable to the two separate rat lines (DS and DR) had to be established, and in the second part the process of development of heart failure due to feeding the rats with high-salt-containing diet has to be monitored. This work describes the results of the first stage, with the outcome of protein expression profiles of left ventricular tissues of DS and DR rats kept under low salt diet. Substantial extent of quantitative and qualitative expression differences between both strains of Dahl rats in heart tissue was detected. Using Principal Component Analysis, Linear Discriminant Analysis and other statistical means we have established sets of differentially expressed proteins, candidates for further molecular analysis of the heart failure mechanisms.
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