A generally conserved response to hypoxia in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from humans and chimpanzees

Michelle C. Ward, Yoav Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Despite anatomical similarities, there are differences in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease (CVD) between primates; humans are prone to myocardial ischemia, while chimpanzees are prone to myocardial fibrosis. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) allow for direct inter-species comparisons of the gene regulatory response to CVD-relevant perturbations such as oxygen deprivation, a consequence of ischemia. To gain insight into the evolution of disease susceptibility, we characterized gene expression levels in iPSC-CMs in humans and chimpanzees, before and after hypoxia and re-oxygenation. The transcriptional response to hypoxia is generally conserved across species, yet we were able to identify hundreds of speciesspecific regulatory responses including in genes previously associated with CVD. The 1,920 genes that respond to hypoxia in both species are enriched for loss-of-function intolerant genes; but are depleted for expression quantitative trait loci and cardiovascular-related genes. Our results indicate that response to hypoxic stress is highly conserved in humans and chimpanzees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere42374
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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