Abstract 372: Regulation of Ski and Scleraxis in the Infarcted Rat Heart
Introduction: Coronary heart disease is causal to myocardial infarction (MI) and cardiac fibrosis. Upon ischemic myocardial injury, resident cardiac fibroblasts phenoconvert to myofibroblasts and synthesize large amounts of fibrillar collagens to produce scar tissue. Although the myofibroblast numbers are reduced in the infarct scar following the completion of wound healing, a sub-population of cells persist in the wounded area, leading to maladaptive chronic remodeling of the scar area and eventually the non-infarcted myocardium. Ski has been identified as a repressor of the TGF-β1 signaling pathway, attenuating the myofibroblast phenotype and its functional properties. Scleraxis has been implicated in canonical TGF-β1 signaling to promote collagen1α2 expression. We investigated how Ski and Scleraxis contribute to physiological and pathological wound healing in vivo.
Methods: The study was carried out using 64 male Sprague-Dawley rats. The left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery was ligated to induce a myocardial infarction. Control (sham) operated animals underwent surgery without ligation of the LAD artery. Animals were sacrificed at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-MI and tissue collected for Western blot and qPCR studies.
Results: Scleraxis mRNA expression remained at baseline at 2 and 8 weeks post-MI, but was significantly increased 4 weeks post-MI. Scleraxis protein expression was down-regulated within the scar area of infarcted hearts when compared to control samples 2 and 4 weeks post-MI. Ski mRNA expression was up-regulated within the scar area of infarcted hearts 2, 4 and 8 weeks after infarction.
Conclusions: Scleraxis protein is down-regulated in myofibroblasts of the infarct scar in the chronic stages of myocardial infarction, corresponding to the maturation of the scar. At these stages of wound healing, we have previously published that Ski is up-regulated in the cytosol of these same cells. We suggest reciprocal feedback in the expression of these two proteins exists in myofibroblasts in the infarct scar. We hope to learn more about the Ski/Scleraxis feedback loop in pathological wound healing to identify novel therapeutic targets.
Author Disclosures: K.L. Filomeno: None. S.G. Rattan: None. S. Bage: None. M. Zeglinski: None. M.P. Czubryt: None. I.M.C. Dixon: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.