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Hypertension. 2004 Feb;43(2):229-36. Epub 2003 Dec 22.

Ac-SDKP reverses inflammation and fibrosis in rats with heart failure after myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich 48202-2689, USA.


Inflammation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis in heart failure (HF) after myocardial infarction (MI). N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (Ac-SDKP) is a naturally occurring antifibrotic peptide whose plasma concentration is increased 4- to 5-fold by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. We tested the hypothesis that in rats with HF after MI, Ac-SDKP acts as an anti-inflammatory cytokine, preventing and also reversing cardiac fibrosis in the noninfarcted area (reactive fibrosis), and thus affording functional improvement. We found that Ac-SDKP significantly decreased total collagen content in the prevention group from 23.7+/-0.9 to 15.0+/-0.7 microg/mg and in the reversal group from 22.6+/-2.2 to 14.4+/-1.6 (P<0.01). Interstitial collagen volume fraction and perivascular collagen were likewise significantly reduced. We also found that infiltrating macrophages were reduced from 264.7+/-8.1 to 170.2+/-9.2/mm2, P<0.001 (prevention), and from 257.5+/-9.1 to 153.1+/-8.5 mm2, P<0.001 (reversal), while transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta-positive cells were decreased from 195.6+/-8.4 to 129.6+/-5.7/mm2, P<0.01 (prevention), and from 195.6+/-8.4 to 130.7+/-10.8/mm2, P<0.01 (reversal). Ac-SDKP did not alter either blood pressure or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH); however, it depressed systolic cardiac function in the prevention study while having no significant effect in the reversal group. We concluded that Ac-SDKP has an anti-inflammatory effect in HF that may contribute to its antifibrotic effect; however, this decrease in fibrosis without changes in LVH was not accompanied by an improvement in cardiac function.

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