Influence of atrial fibrillation on microRNA expression profiles in left and right atria from patients with valvular heart disease.
ABSTRACT Chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complication associated with the dilated atria of patients with valvular heart disease and contributes to worsened pathology. We examined microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles in right and left atrial appendage tissue from valvular heart disease (VHD) patients. Right atrial (RA) appendage from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting and left atrial (LA) appendage from healthy hearts, not used for transplant, were used as controls. There was no detectable effect of chronic AF on miRNA expression in LA tissue, but miRNA expression in RA was strongly influenced by AF, with 47 miRNAs (15 higher, 32 lower) showing differential expression between the AF and control sinus rhythm groups. VHD induced different changes in miRNA expression in LA compared with RA. Fifty-three (12 higher, 41 lower) miRNAs were altered by VHD in LA, compared with 5 (4 higher, 1 lower) in RA tissue. miRNA profiles also differed between VHD-LA and VHD-RA (13 higher, 26 lower). We conclude that VHD and AF influence miRNA expression patterns in LA and RA, but these are affected differently by disease progression and by the development of AF. These findings provide new insights into the progression of VHD.