Suppressed Production of Soluble Fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase-1 Contributes to Myocardial Remodeling and Heart Failure

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Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), an endogenous inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor and placental growth factor, is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. However, the significance of sFlt-1 in heart failure has not been fully elucidated. We found that sFlt-1 is decreased in renal failure and serves as a key molecule in atherosclerosis. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of the decreased sFlt-1 production in heart failure, using sFlt-1 knockout mice. sFlt-1 knockout mice and wild-type mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction and evaluated after 7 days. The sFlt-1 knockout mice had significantly higher mortality (52% versus 15%; P=0.0002) attributable to heart failure and showed greater cardiac hypertrophy (heart weight to body weight ratio, 8.95±0.45 mg/g in sFlt-1 knockout mice versus 6.60±0.32 mg/g in wild-type mice; P<0.0001) and cardiac dysfunction, which was accompanied by a significant increase in macrophage infiltration and cardiac fibrosis, than wild-type mice after transverse aortic constriction. An anti–placental growth factor–neutralizing antibody prevented pressure overload–induced cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction. Moreover, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression was significantly increased in the hypertrophied hearts of sFlt-1 knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 inhibition with neutralizing antibody ameliorated maladaptive cardiac remodeling in sFlt-1 knockout mice after transverse aortic constriction. In conclusion, decreased sFlt-1 production plays a key role in the aggravation of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure through upregulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression in pressure-overloaded heart.

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