Journal of Biosciences

, 44:16 | Cite as

LIM kinase 1 acts as a profibrotic mediator in permanent atrial fibrillation patients with valvular heart disease

  • Qinhua Chen
  • Ryan C Gimple
  • Guannan Li
  • Jianzhou Chen
  • Han Wu
  • Ran Li
  • Jun XieEmail author
  • Biao XuEmail author


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequently diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia worldwide. Patients with permanent atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk of developing valvular heart disease. Atrial fibrosis occurs in this pathophysiological setting. LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates microtubule stability and actin polymerization in fibroblasts. LIMK1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. Clinical data and biopsies of the right atrial appendage were collected from 50 patients with valvular heart disease who underwent heart valve replacement surgery. Data from patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) and patients with sinus rhythm (SR) were compared. We found that AF patients had upregulated expression of LIMK1 as well as higher fibrosis. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) stimulation induced the differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts into myofibroblasts as well as upregulated expression of LIMK1. Downregulation of LIMK1 by siRNA inhibited TGF-β induced fibroblast-myofibroblast transition, as evidenced by the downregulation of the expression of several differentiation markers, namely alpha-smooth muscle actin and type I and III collagen. Our findings revealed that increased LIMK1 protein levels may contribute to atrial fibrosis, and suggested that LIMK1 might be involved in AF development by promoting fibrogenesis associated with TGF-β.


Atrial fibrillation fibrosis LIM kinase 

Abbreviations used


atrial fibrillation


bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II


LIM kinase 1


mitral valve


sinus rhythm



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81200148, 81270281 and 81470371).


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, Drum Tower HospitalMedical School of Nanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of PathologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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