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This article is part of the supplement: 29th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

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Strain-specific and pathogen-specific physiologic and genomic differences in murine inflammatory cardiac dysfunction

G Ackland1, R Agrawal2, C Hou3 and A Patterson2

Author Affiliations

1 University College London, UK

2 Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

3 Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA

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Critical Care 2009, 13(Suppl 1):P370  doi:10.1186/cc7534

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 March 2009

© 2009 Ackland et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Comparing genomic changes in mice strains demonstrating physiologic differences with pathologic insults is a novel approach to elucidate potential mechanisms. Our hypothesis was that murine strains exhibit different cardiac/genomic responses to specific pathogens.


The end-systolic pressure–volume relationship (ESPVR) and end-diastolic pressure–volume relationship (EDPVR) cardiac performance was compared in B6, C57 and FVB mice (pressure–volume loops, Millar catheter; isoflurane anesthesia) 4 hours after zymosan (ZYM) or endotoxin (LPS) intraperitoneally. Gene expression profiles unique to mouse strain/baseline/treatment were created using two-way ANOVA/two-fold filtering.


ESPVR improved in B6/C57 mice after ZYM (Figure 1). Diastolic compromise (Figure 2) occurred in FVB mice following ZYM but in B6 mice after LPS. Genomic analyses within strains revealed pathogen-specific differences: for example, ZYM-treated FVB mice (diastolic impairment) demonstrated downregulation of key cell cycle, vascular endothelial growth factor, L-type calcium channel genes, with upregulation of T-cell receptor and the src-family kinase (exaggerated inflammatory response).

thumbnailFigure 1. RVUs, relative volume units.


Comparative genomic analyses provide new insights into septic cardiac pathophysiology.


Supported in part by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (Patterson), and the Intensive Care Society (Ackland).