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Human response to isoproterenol induced cardiac injury was evaluated by gene and protein pathway changes in human heart slices, and compared to rat heart slices and rat heart in vivo. Isoproterenol (10 and 100 μM) altered human and rat heart slice markers of oxidative stress (ATP and GSH) at 24 h. In this in vivo rat study (0.5 mg/kg), serum troponin concentrations increased with lesion severity, minimal to mild necrosis at 24 and 48 h. In the rat and the human heart, isoproterenol altered pathways for apoptosis/necrosis, stress/energy, inflammation, and remodeling/fibrosis. The rat and human heart slices were in an apoptotic phase, while the in vivo rat heart exhibited necrosis histologically and further progression of tissue remodeling. In human heart slices genes for several heat shock 70 kD members were altered, indicative of stress to mitigate apoptosis. The stress response included alterations in energy utilization, fatty acid processing, and the up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, a marker of increased oxidative stress in both species. Inflammation markers linked with remodeling included IL-1α, Il-1β, IL-6 and TNFα in both species. Tissue remodeling changes in both species included increases in the TIMP proteins, inhibitors of matrix degradation, the gene/protein of IL-4 linked with cardiac fibrosis, and the gene Ccl7 a chemokine that induces collagen synthesis, and Reg3b a growth factor for cardiac repair. This study demonstrates that the initial human heart slice response to isoproterenol cardiac injury results in apoptosis, stress/energy status, inflammation and tissue remodeling at concentrations similar to that in rat heart slices.Human response to isoproterenol induced cardiac injury evaluated in heart slices.Isoproterenol altered apoptosis, energy, inflammation and remodeling pathways.Human model verified by comparison to rat heart slices and rat heart in vivo.Human and rat respond to isoproterenol at similar concentrations in vitro.