Using newly available biological technology, researchers have developed the first molecular portrait of multiple gene activity in diseased heart tissue taken from dogs near death from a devastating disease. The discovery sheds new light on the hearts response to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of large-breed dogs.
New microscopic technology allows researchers to place tens of thousands of genes on 1.5-inch-square slides known as a microarray. In this case, researchers used the GeneChip Canine Genome Array, a newly available commercial microarray specifically designed for dogs and containing more than 23,000 genes. With it, they performed global genome-expression profiling to focus on the transcription (the level of genetic coding into messenger RNA) of the genes taken from five healthy dogs and two Dobermans with DCM.
In the affected dogs, 478 transcripts were significantly different from those in the tissue of the control animals. Of these transcripts, 173 were increased (up regulated) while 305 were lowered (down regulated). From this pool, the researchers identified 167 genes that may play a role in the development and progression of DCM.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
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