Background-Rho-kinase has been implicated as an important regulator of inflammatory responses mediated by cytokines and chemokines. Because proinflammatory cytokines play a critical role in left ventricular (LV) remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI), we examined whether long-term blockade of Rho-kinase suppresses LV remodeling in a mouse model of MI in vivo. Methods and Results-Mice underwent ligation of the left coronary artery and were treated with a Rho-kinase inhibitor, fasudil (100 mg · kg -1 · d-1 in tap water), for 4 weeks, starting 1 day after the surgery. At 4 weeks, LV infarct size was histologically comparable between the 2 groups. LV cavity dilatation and dysfunction evaluated by echocardiography were significantly suppressed in the fasudil group (P<0.05, n= 15 to 28). The beneficial effects of fasudil were accompanied by suppression of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis (both P<0.01, n=6). The expression of inflammatory cytokines, including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2, TGF-β3, and macrophage migration inhibitory factor, was upregulated in the noninfarcted LV in the control group and was significantly suppressed in the fasudil group (both P<0.05, n= 10 to 11). Rho-kinase activity as evaluated by the extent of phosphorylation of the ERM family, a substrate of Rho-kinase, was significantly increased in the noninfarcted LV in the control group and was significantly suppressed in the fasudil group (P<0.05, n=5). Conclusions-These results indicate that Rho-kinase is substantially involved in the pathogenesis of LV remodeling after MI associated with upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, suggesting a therapeutic importance of the molecule for the prevention of post-MI heart failure.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - May 11 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)