Iatrogenic, Transgenic, and Naturally Occurring Models of Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure

  • David R. Gross


Cardiomyopathy is a general term applied to a wide variety of conditions that result in myocardial lesions not related to specific disease states. The term encompasses a wide variety of conditions initiated by numerous etiologies. The disease usually presents as either hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy (HCM or DCM). Naturally occurring cardiomyopathy seems to be caused by mutations in one or more sarcomeric proteins. Inherited DCM can result from mutations in the genes encoding cardiac troponin T, troponin C, and alpha-tropomyosin, while different mutations in the same genes cause HCM. DCM mutations depress myofibrillar function as a result of thin filament mutations while HCM has the opposite effect.1

Familial HCM is described as an autosomal dominant disorder that manifests as cardiac hypertrophy with myocyte disarray. Mutations in five different loci result in the disease. Beta cardiac myosin heavy-chain, alpha tropomyosin, and cardiac troponin T have been identified as distinct disease genes.26 Liu et al.7 compared the morphological features of spontaneously occurring HCM in 38 humans, 51 cats, and 10 dogs. They found that asymmetric hypertrophy of the ventricular septum, marked disorganization of myocardial cells, abnormal intramural coronary arteries, and myocardial fibrosis were common to all three species. Transgenic mice expressing cardiac troponin T (cTnT)-Q92 develop HCM characterized by enhanced systolic function and have higher levels of cardiac troponin I, cardiac alpha-actin, cardiac alpha-tropomyosin, and cardiac troponin than wild type.8


Transgenic Mouse Diastolic Dysfunction Brain Natriuretic Peptide Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Myocardial Fibrosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Gross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary BiosciencesUniversity of Illinois, Urbana Champaign College of Veterinary MedicineUrbanaUSA

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