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Left ventricular (LV) remodeling alters the contractile and relaxation properties and induces myocardial stiffness. As LV remodeling progresses, the amount of collagen type III (Col3) is gradually decreased, being replaced by collagen type I (Col1). We evaluated whether Col3 overexpression improved cardiac function and remodeling in a rat with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). We also investigated the functional motif and mechanism of thrombin-cleaved N-terminal osteopontin (N-OPN) on cardiac remodeling.The rats with ICM were divided into 3 groups: ligation only (Control) group and groups transplanted with nontransfected fibroblast sheets (normal Fb group) or with Col3-secretory fibroblast sheets (Col3 Fb group). A gelatin hydrogel containing the N-terminal fragment (N-OPN), N-OPN lacking the SVVYGLR sequence (▽SV), the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence (▽RGD), RGD and SVVYGLR sequences (▽RGD-SV), SVVYGLR alone (SV), or a random SV peptide was implanted into an ICM model rat.The Col3 Fb group exhibited significantly attenuated LV systolic dysfunction. LV dilatation, myocyte hypertrophy, and LV fibrosis at the infarcted area were also attenuated by Col3 Fb implantation. Furthermore, N-OPN, ▽RGD, and SV peptide suppressed the depression of cardiac function, LV dilatation, and myocyte hypertrophy, and also induced increased Col3 expression and reduction in the ratio of Col1 to Col3 in the infarcted and border areas.Overexpression of Col3 improved cardiac function by changing the balance of collagen distribution in LV remodeling. The SVVYGLR motif of the thrombin-cleaved N-OPN and SV peptide attenuated cardiac dysfunction by increasing Col3 and changing the pattern of collagen balance in the impaired area.