Myocyte remodeling during the progression to failure in rats with hypertension

A. Martin Gerdes, Tatsuyuki Onodera, Xuejun Wang, Sylvia A. McCune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Regional changes in cardiac myocyte shape during the progression to failure with hypertension have not been clearly established. To address this issue, we examined left and right ventricular myocytes from lean, female spontaneously hypertensive/heart failure rats with compensated hypertrophy (approximately 12 months of age) and congestive heart failure (approximately 24 months of age). During this period, body weight did not change, but heart weight increased 59% and lung weight increased 93%. Left ventricular function declined with the onset of failure. Left ventricular myocyte volume increased 27% exclusively because of myocyte lengthening (29% increase). The onset of left ventricular failure resulted in a 72% increase in right ventricular myocyte volume. Right ventricular myocyte growth, however, was proportional, with a 23% increase in myocyte length and 18% increase in myocyte width. Changes in left ventricular myocyte shape were virtually identical to data collected previously from patients with similar disease, suggesting that this is a relevant animal model. Evidence suggests that left ventricular myocyte transverse growth is defective because dilation and failure were associated with cell lengthening, without a change in myocyte diameter. Although severe hypertrophy was present in the right ventricle as a result of left ventricular failure, myocyte growth was proportional, suggesting that cell shape was properly regulated in this chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-614
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • cell size
  • heart failure, congestive
  • ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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