Tan NY, Li J-M, Stocker R, Khachigian LM. Angiotensin II-Inducible Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis Involves the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor, GATA-6 Activation, and FasL-Fas Engagement. Circ Res. 2009;105:422–430; doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.203323
After being made aware of concerns related to Figures 6C and 6E in the above article, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) commissioned an independent, external report to examine this issue.
In this article, Figure 6C (middle lower panel) was described as a section of a carotid from a rat treated with Ang II+GATA 6 siRNA and stained with antibodies to GATA-6. Figure 6E (lower right panel) is described as a section of a carotid from a different rat treated with Ang II+ Negative Control siRNA and stained with IgG. Upon further examination, it was determined that Figure 6C and Figure 6E appear to be identical except that the image in Figure 6C shows the presence of a number of darker nuclei.
As part of their investigation, UNSW was unable to locate any electronic record of the original images and was unable to locate any records of the images in original lab books. The original slides have degraded over time and it was not possible to verify the authenticity of the images. The independent report, however, found that related quantitative data were recorded in the original lab books. Although the independent report commissioned by UNSW was unable to reach a definitive conclusion regarding this issue, the original concerns regarding these figures remain.
UNSW has not attributed any instance of research misconduct or responsibility for the unavailability of the original data to Professor Khachigian or to any of the authors of the publication.
Based on the unresolvable concerns with these figures, the editors, therefore, hereby retract the article.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.