OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to follow the long-term progression of diabetic cardiomyopathy by combining cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and molecular analysis.
BACKGROUND: The evolution of diabetic cardiomyopathy to heart failure affects patients'morbidity and mortality. CMR is the gold standard to assess cardiac remodeling, but there is a lack of markers linked to the mechanism of diabetic cardiomyopathy progression.
METHODS: Five-year longitudinal study on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) enrolled in the Cardiovascular Effects of Chronic Sildenafil in Men With Type 2 Diabetes (CECSID) trial (NCT00692237) compared with nondiabetic age-matched controls. CMR with tagging together with metabolic and molecular assessments were performed at baseline and 5-year follow-up.
RESULTS: Seventy-nine men (age 64 ± 8 years) enrolled, comprising 59 men with T2DM compared with 20 nondiabetic age-matched controls. Longitudinal CMR with tagging showed an increase in ventricular mass (ΔLVMi = 13.47 ± 29.66 g/m2; p = 0.014) and a borderline increase in end-diastolic volume (ΔEDVi = 5.16 ± 14.71 ml/m2; p = 0.056) in men with T2DM. Cardiac strain worsened (Δσ = 1.52 ± 3.85%; p = 0.033) whereas torsion was unchanged (Δθ = 0.24 ± 4.04°; p = 0.737), revealing a loss of the adaptive equilibrium between strain and torsion. Contraction dynamics showed a decrease in the systolic time-to-peak (ΔTtP = -35.18 ± 28.81 ms; p < 0.001) and diastolic early recoil-rate (ΔRR = -20.01 ± 19.07 s-1; p < 0.001). The ejection fraction and metabolic parameters were unchanged. Circulating miR microarray revealed an up-regulation of miR122-5p. Network analysis predicted the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) MMP-16 and MMP-2 and their regulator (tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases) as targets. In db/db mice we demonstrated that miR122-5p expression is associated with diabetic cardiomyopathy, that in the diabetic heart is overexpressed, and that, in vitro, it regulates MMP-2. Finally, we demonstrated that miR122-5p overexpression affects the extracellular matrix through MMP-2 modulation.
CONCLUSIONS: Within 5 years of diabetic cardiomyopathy onset, increasing cardiac hypertrophy is associated with progressive impairment in strain, depletion of the compensatory role of torsion, and changes in viscoelastic contraction dynamics. These changes are independent of glycemic control and paralleled by the up-regulation of specific microRNAs targeting the extracellular matrix (Cardiovascular Effects of Chronic Sildenafil in Men With Type 2 Diabetes [CECSID]; NCT00692237).