Postmortem mRNA expression patterns in left ventricular myocardial tissues and their implications for forensic diagnosis of sudden cardiac death

Gi Hoon Son, Seong Hwan Park, Yunmi Kim, Ji Yeon Kim, Jin Wook Kim, Sooyoung Chung, Yu Hoon Kim, Hyun Kim, Juck Joon Hwang, Joong Seok Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sudden cardiac death (SCD), which is primarily caused by lethal heart disorders resulting in structural and arrhythmogenic abnormalities, is one of the prevalent modes of death in most developed countries. Myocardial ischemia, mainly due to coronary artery disease, is the most common type of heart disease leading to SCD. However, postmortem diagnosis of SCD is frequently complicated by obscure histological evidence. Here, we show that certain mRNA species, namely those encoding hemoglobin A1/2 and B (Hba1/2 and Hbb, respectively) as well as pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (Pdk4), exhibit distinct postmortem expression patterns in the left ventricular free wall of SCD subjects when compared with their expression patterns in the corresponding tissues from control subjects with non-cardiac causes of death. Hba1/2 and Hbb mRNA expression levels were higher in ischemic SCD cases with acute myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease without recent infarction, and even in cardiac death subjects without apparent pathological signs of heart injuries, than control subjects. By contrast, Pdk4 mRNA was expressed at lower levels in SCD subjects. In conclusion, we found that altered myocardial Hba1/2, Hbb, and Pdk4 mRNA expression patterns can be employed as molecular signatures of fatal cardiac dysfunction to forensically implicate SCD as the primary cause of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalMolecules and cells
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • Hemoglobin
  • Postmortem RNA expression
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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