The pericardium promotes cardiac repair and remodelling post-myocardial infarction

Mylonas, Katie and Jackson-Jones, Lucy and Andrews, Jack and Magalhaes, Marlene and Meloni, Marco and Joshi, Nikhil and Allen, Judith and Newby, David and Dweck, Marc and Gray, Gillian and Benezech, Cecile (2019) The pericardium promotes cardiac repair and remodelling post-myocardial infarction. Biorxiv. (Unpublished)

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The pericardium is widely recognised for its lubricating and bio-mechanical properties. It also contains fat-associated lymphoid clusters (FALCs) and its immune functions have been widely overlooked. Here we aimed to assess the inflammatory activity of the pericardium in patients who suffered a recent myocardial infarction (MI) and to determine its importance for repair and remodelling in a murine MI model induced by coronary artery ligation (CAL). By comparing 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) activity in the pericardium of patients with stable coronary artery disease and patients who had a recent MI, we demonstrate that MI is associated with increased pericardial inflammation. We confirm in mice, that pericardial FALCs undergo a major expansion following CAL. We show that despite similar initial injury, removal of the pericardium prior to MI disrupted subsequent repair, resulting in 50% mortality due to cardiac rupture, while all mice with intact pericardia survived. Removal of the pericardium also led to decreased staining for Ym1, a marker of reparative macrophages and adverse cardiac fibrosis within the infarct area. Together, this work indicates a crucial role for the pericardium in regulating inflammation, macrophage polarisation and tissue remodelling in the heart following MI.

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23 Sep 2019 14:35
Last Modified:
19 Oct 2023 10:25