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Single Nucleus RNA-sequencing Reveals Altered Intercellular Communication and Dendritic Cell Activation in Nonobstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Author(s): Christina J Codden, Amy Larson, Junya Awata, Gayani Perera and Michael T Chin

End stage, nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an intractable condition with no disease-specific therapies. To gain insights into the pathogenesis of nonobstructive HCM, we performed single nucleus RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) on human HCM hearts explanted at the time of cardiac transplantation and organ donor hearts serving as controls. Differential gene expression analysis revealed 64 differentially expressed genes linked to specific cell types and molecular functions. Analysis of ligand-receptor pair gene expression to delineate potential intercellular communication revealed significant reductions in expressed ligand-receptor pairs likely affecting the extracellular matrix, growth factor binding, peptidase regulator activity, platelet-derived growth factor binding and protease binding in the HCM tissue. Changes in Integrin-β1 receptor expression were responsible for many observed changes related to extracellular matrix interactions, by increasing in dendritic, smooth muscle and pericyte cells while decreasing in endothelial and fibroblast cells, suggesting potential mechanisms for fibrosis and microvascular disease in HCM and a potential role for dendritic cells. In contrast, there was an increase in ligand-receptor pair expression associated with adenylate cyclase binding, calcium channel molecular functions, channel inhibitor activity, ion channel inhibitor activity, phosphatase activator activity, protein kinase activator activity and titin binding, suggesting important shifts in various signaling cascades in nonobstructive, end stage HCM.

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