Multiple cues have been suggested as the mechanical stimulus for the heart's hypertrophic response. Our work has previously suggested that the amount of cyclic shortening in cardiomyocytes controls myocyte shape and the amount of stretch controls myocyte size. To identify gene expression changes that occur in response to these mechanical perturbations, we used microarray analysis of papillary muscles cultured for 12 h at physiological or reduced levels of cyclic shortening and physiological or reduced mean stretch. Overall, genes related to extracellular matrix (ECM) were surprisingly prominent in our analysis. Connective tissue growth factor was among a small group of genes regulated by the amount of cyclic shortening regardless of the level of mean stretch, and many more ECM genes were regulated by shortening with reduced amounts of stretch. When we compared our results to gene expression data from an in vivo model of pressure overload (PO), which also decreases myocyte shortening, we found the genes that were commonly regulated in PO and our decreased shortening groups were most significantly enriched for ontology terms related to the ECM, followed by genes associated with mechanosensing and the cytoskeleton. The list of genes regulated in PO and our decreased shortening groups also includes genes known to change early in hypertrophy, such as myosin heavy chain 7, brain natriuretic peptide, and myosin binding protein C. We conclude that in intact myocardium, the amount of cyclic shortening may be an important regulator not only of myocyte genes classically associated with hypertrophy but also of ECM genes. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.