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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

Atrial fibrillation alters the microRNA expression profiles of the left atria of patients with mitral stenosis

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Hai Liu, Guang-xian Chen, Meng-ya Liang, Han Qin, Jian Rong, Jian-ping Yao, Zhong-kai Wu
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2261-14-10) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hai Liu, Guang-xian Chen contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

HL performed the molecular studies, participated in the sequence alignment, and drafted the manuscript. GXC, MYL, HQ, JR, and JPY participated in open heart surgery and collected clinical samples. HL and ZKW participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analyses. ZKW and GXC conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, and helped to draft the manuscript. HL and GXC contributed equally to this article. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Structural changes of the left and right atria associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) in mitral stenosis (MS) patients are well known, and alterations in microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles of the right atria have also been investigated. However, miRNA changes in the left atria still require delineation. This study evaluated alterations in miRNA expression profiles of left atrial tissues from MS patients with AF relative to those with normal sinus rhythm (NSR).


Sample tissues from left atrial appendages were obtained from 12 MS patients (6 with AF) during mitral valve replacement surgery. From these tissues, miRNA expression profiles were created and analyzed using a human miRNA microarray. Results were validated via reverse-transcription and quantitative PCR for 5 selected miRNAs. Potential miRNA targets were predicted and their functions and potential pathways analyzed via the miRFocus database.


The expression levels of 22 miRNAs differed between the AF and NSR groups. Relative to NSR patients, in those with AF the expression levels of 45% (10/22) of these miRNAs were significantly higher, while those of the balance (55%, 12/22) were significantly lower. Potential miRNA targets and molecular pathways were identified.


AF alters the miRNA expression profiles of the left atria of MS patients. These findings may be useful for the biological understanding of AF in MS patients.
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