A multiscale model of cardiac concentric hypertrophy incorporating both mechanical and hormonal drivers of growth

Ana C. Estrada, Kyoko Yoshida, Jeffrey J. Saucerman, Jeffrey W. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Growth and remodeling in the heart is driven by a combination of mechanical and hormonal signals that produce different patterns of growth in response to exercise, pregnancy, and various pathologies. In particular, increases in afterload lead to concentric hypertrophy, a thickening of the walls that increases the contractile ability of the heart while reducing wall stress. In the current study, we constructed a multiscale model of cardiac hypertrophy that connects a finite-element model representing the mechanics of the growing left ventricle to a cell-level network model of hypertrophic signaling pathways that accounts for changes in both mechanics and hormones. We first tuned our model to capture published in vivo growth trends for isoproterenol infusion, which stimulates β-adrenergic signaling pathways without altering mechanics, and for transverse aortic constriction (TAC), which involves both elevated mechanics and altered hormone levels. We then predicted the attenuation of TAC-induced hypertrophy by two distinct genetic interventions (transgenic Gq-coupled receptor inhibitor overexpression and norepinephrine knock-out) and by two pharmacologic interventions (angiotensin receptor blocker losartan and β-blocker propranolol) and compared our predictions to published in vivo data for each intervention. Our multiscale model captured the experimental data trends reasonably well for all conditions simulated. We also found that when prescribing realistic changes in mechanics and hormones associated with TAC, the hormonal inputs were responsible for the majority of the growth predicted by the multiscale model and were necessary in order to capture the effect of the interventions for TAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 24 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant U01 HL127654 and American Heart Association (AHA) Grant 16PRE30250007.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Finite-element modeling
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Signaling networks
  • Systems biology
  • Transverse aortic constriction


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