Background: Although sex differences in heart failure (HF) prevalence and severity have been recognized, its molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We used a tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy model to determine the sex specific remodeling pattern in male and female adult pigs. Methods: We compared the echocardiographic and molecular measures of myocardial remodeling in 19 male and 12 female pigs with chronic symptomatic systolic HF due to right ventricle (RV) pacing (170 bpm) and 6 male and 5 female sham-operated controls. Males achieved subsequent HF stages earlier than females. Results: The progression of symptomatic HF was associated with the reduction of the left ventricle (LV) ejection fraction in both sexes (all p < 0.05). A significant LV dilatation occurred only in males (p < 0.001). The HF development was accompanied by an increased pro-hypertrophic factor GATA4 and TGF-β1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the LV only in male pigs (all p < 0.01). The total gelatinolytic activity in LV was higher in males than females (irrespective of HF, p < 0.05), and the HF progression was associated with a reduced total gelatinolytic activity (p < 0.05) in the LV only in males. No differences in LV myocardial collagen content were found between HF groups and sexes. Cardiomyocyte cross-sectional diameter was significantly smaller in male hearts as compared to female (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Male and female porcine hearts respond differently to RV pacing. Males, most likely due to a higher extracellular matrix turnover, demonstrated a significant LV dilatation, followed by a strong induction of pro-hypertrophic program, and an earlier development of symptomatic HF.
Kiczak, L., Tomaszek, A., Pasławska, U., Bania, J., Noszczyk-Nowak, A., Skrzypczak, P., … Jankowska, E. A. (2015). Sex differences in porcine left ventricular myocardial remodeling due to right ventricular pacing. Biology of Sex Differences, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13293-015-0048-4