Research Papers: Immunology:

Analysis of region specific gene expression patterns in the heart and systemic responses after experimental myocardial ischemia

Matthias Zimmermann, Lucian Beer, Robert Ullrich, Dominika Lukovic, Elisabeth Simader, Denise Traxler, Tanja Wagner, Lucas Nemec, Lukas Altenburger, Andreas Zuckermann, Mariann Gyöngyösi, Hendrik Jan Ankersmit and Michael Mildner _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:60809-60825. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17955

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Matthias Zimmermann1, Lucian Beer1,2, Robert Ullrich3, Dominika Lukovic4, Elisabeth Simader1, Denise Traxler1,4, Tanja Wagner5, Lucas Nemec5, Lukas Altenburger5, Andreas Zuckermann6, Mariann Gyöngyösi4, Hendrik Jan Ankersmit1,5 and Michael Mildner7

1 Christian Doppler Laboratory for Cardiac and Thoracic Diagnosis and Regeneration, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2 Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

3 Department of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

4 Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

5 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

6 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

7 Department of Dermatology, Research Division of Biology and Pathobiology of the Skin, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Correspondence to:

Michael Mildner, email:

Hendrik Jan Ankersmit, email:

Keywords: myocardial infarction, systemic effect, paracrine factors, transcription factor, Klf4, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: April 05, 2017 Accepted: May 03, 2017 Published: May 17, 2017


Aims: Ischemic myocardial injury leads to the activation of inflammatory mechanisms and results in ventricular remodeling. Although great efforts have been made to unravel the molecular and cellular processes taking place in the ischemic myocardium, little is known about the effects on the surrounding tissue and other organs. The aim of this study was to determine region specific differences in the myocardium and in distant organs after experimental myocardial infarction by using a bioinformatics approach.

Methods and Results: A porcine closed chest reperfused acute myocardial infarction model and mRNA microarrays have been used to evaluate gene expression changes. Myocardial infarction changed the expression of 8903 genes in myocardial-, 856 in hepatic- and 338 in splenic tissue. Identification of myocardial region specific differences as well as expression profiling of distant organs revealed clear gene-regulation patterns within the first 24 hours after ischemia. Transcription factor binding site analysis suggested a strong role for Kruppel like factor 4 (Klf4) in the regulation of gene expression following myocardial infarction, and was therefore investigated further by immunohistochemistry. Strong nuclear Klf4 expression with clear region specific differences was detectable in porcine and human heart samples after myocardial infarction.

Conclusion: Apart from presenting a post myocardial infarction gene expression database and specific response pathways, the key message of this work is that myocardial ischemia does not end at the injured myocardium. The present results have enlarged the spectrum of organs affected, and suggest that a variety of organ systems are involved in the co-ordination of the organism´s response to myocardial infarction.

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