The alarmins S100A8 and S100A9 are damage-associated molecular patterns, which play a pivotal role in cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and viral infections. We aimed to investigate their role in Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3)–induced myocarditis.Methods and Results:
S100A8 and S100A9 mRNA expression was 13.0-fold (P=0.012) and 5.1-fold (P=0.038) higher in endomyocardial biopsies from patients with CVB3-positive myocarditis compared with controls, respectively. Elimination of CVB3 led to a downregulation of these alarmins. CVB3-infected mice developed an impaired left ventricular function and displayed an increased left ventricular S100A8 and S100A9 protein expression versus controls. In contrast, CVB3-infected S100A9 knockout mice, which are also a complete knockout for S100A8 on protein level, showed an improved left ventricular function, which was associated with a reduced cardiac inflammatory and oxidative response, and lower CVB3 copy number compared with wild-type CVB3 mice. Exogenous application of S100A8 to S100A9 knockout CVB3 mice induced a severe myocarditis similar to wild-type CVB3 mice. In CVB3-infected HL-1 cells, S100A8 and S100A9 enhanced oxidative stress and CVB3 copy number compared with unstimulated infected cells. In CVB3-infected RAW macrophages, both alarmins increased MIP-2 (macrophage inflammatory protein-2) chemokine expression, which was reduced in CVB3 S100A8 knockdown versus scrambled siRNA CVB3 cells.Conclusions:
S100A8 and S100A9 aggravate CVB3-induced myocarditis and might serve as therapeutic targets in inflammatory cardiomyopathies.