Changes of desmin expression pattern in the myocardium of patients with alcoholic dilated cardiomyopathy

Vol. 58 No. 4, 2017


Ruxandra Camelia Deliu, Alexandru Radu Mihailovici, Ionica Pirici, Cristiana Eugenia Simionescu, Ionut Donoiu, Octavian Istratoaie, Tudorel Ciurea

Introduction: It has been suggested that desmin cytoskeleton remodeling may contribute to the progression of dilated cardiomyopathy and might affect long-term prognosis. This study is aiming at evaluating desmin expression in cardiomyocytes from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy of alcoholic etiology in advanced stages of the disease and comparing the results with measurements of normal heart tissue from control patients. Materials and Methods: For immunohistochemistry, sections from 36 myocardium fragments taken from left ventricle of dilated cardiomyopathy patients were immunolabeled with an anti-desmin antibody and negative control slides were obtained by omitting the primary antibody. We calculated the ratios between the areas of myocardiocytes and the length and number of A dark disks and assessed the desmin expression level as the integrated optical density (IOD) and, respectively, the total areas of the signal given by immunolabeling. A Student s t-test has been utilized to assess the differences, p<0.05 deemed significant data. Results: We identified significant decrease in numerical density of dark disks in our cases group compared with controls (p<0.05). Also, the ratios between total cellular area and total length of dark disks and number of dark disks was significantly different between cases and controls (p=0.04). IOD was significantly different between dilative cardiomyopathy cases and controls and also, overall desmin expression area was increased in dilatative cardiomyopathy patients. Conclusions: The identification of different desmin expression and standardization in diseased myocardium may be helpful in stratifying patients and in understanding their evolution, but also in finding new therapeutic targets that aim the alterations in desmin expression.

Corresponding author: Ionica Pirici, Teaching Assistant, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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