Background: Whole-genome gene expression analysis has been successfully utilized to diagnose, prognosticate, and identify potential therapeutic targets for high-risk cardiovascular diseases. However, the feasibility of this approach to identify outcome-related genes and dysregulated pathways following first-time myocardial infarction (AMI) remains unknown and may offer a novel strategy to detect affected expressome networks that predict long-term outcome.
Methods and results: Whole-genome expression microarray on blood samples from normal cardiac function controls (n=21) and first-time AMI patients (n=31) within 48-hours post-MI revealed expected differential gene expression profiles enriched for inflammation and immune-response pathways. To determine molecular signatures at the time of AMI associated with long-term outcomes, transcriptional profiles from sub-groups of AMI patients with (n=5) or without (n=22) any recurrent events over an 18-month follow-up were compared. This analysis identified 559 differentially-expressed genes. Bioinformatic analysis of this differential gene-set for associated pathways revealed 1) increasing disease severity in AMI patients is associated with a decreased expression of genes involved in the developmental epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition pathway, and 2) modulation of cholesterol transport genes that include ABCA1, CETP, APOA1, and LDLR is associated with clinical outcome.
Conclusion: Differentially regulated genes and modulated pathways were identified that were associated with recurrent cardiovascular outcomes in first-time AMI patients. This cell-based approach for risk stratification in AMI could represent a novel, non-invasive platform to anticipate modifiable pathways and therapeutic targets to optimize long-term outcome for AMI patients and warrants further study to determine the role of metabolic remodeling and regenerative processes required for optimal outcomes.
Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction; blood; microarray; pathway analysis; transcriptome.
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