ACE-inhibition induces a cardioprotective transcriptional response in the metabolic syndrome heart
Cardiovascular disease associated with metabolic syndrome has a high prevalence, but the mechanistic basis of metabolic cardiomyopathy remains poorly understood. We characterised the cardiac transcriptome in a murine metabolic syndrome (MetS) model (LDLR−/−; ob/ob, DKO) relative to the healthy, control heart (C57BL/6, WT) and the transcriptional changes induced by ACE-inhibition in those hearts. RNA-Seq, differential gene expression and transcription factor analysis identified 288 genes differentially expressed between DKO and WT hearts implicating 72 pathways. Hallmarks of metabolic cardiomyopathy were increased activity in integrin-linked kinase signalling, Rho signalling, dendritic cell maturation, production of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in macrophages, atherosclerosis, LXR-RXR signalling, cardiac hypertrophy, and acute phase response pathways. ACE-inhibition had a limited effect on gene expression in WT (55 genes, 23 pathways), and a prominent effect in DKO hearts (1143 genes, 104 pathways). In DKO hearts, ACE-I appears to counteract some of the MetS-specific pathways, while also activating cardioprotective mechanisms. We conclude that MetS and control murine hearts have unique transcriptional profiles and exhibit a partially specific transcriptional response to ACE-inhibition.