Cardiac transcriptional and metabolic changes following thoracotomy

Non-cardiac surgery is associated with significant cardiovascular complications. Reported mortality rate ranges from 1.9% to 4% in unselected patients. A postoperative surge in pro-inflammatory cytokines is a well-known feature and putative contributor to these complications. Despite much clinical research, little is known about the biomolecular changes in cardiac tissue following non-cardiac surgery. In order to increase our understanding, we analyzed whole-transcriptional and metabolic profiling data sets from hearts of mice harvested two, four, and six weeks following isolated thoracotomy. Hearts from healthy litter-mates served as controls. Functional network enrichment analyses showed a distinct impact on cardiac transcription two weeks after surgery characterized by a downregulation of mitochondrial pathways in the absence of significant metabolic alterations. Transcriptional changes were not detectable four and six weeks following surgery. Our study shows distinct and reversible transcriptional changes within the first two weeks following isolated thoracotomy. This coincides with a time period, in which most cardiovascular events happen.


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