Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Heart J. 2011 Sep;32(17):2168-78. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq467. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Mesenchymal stem cells improve murine acute coxsackievirus B3-induced myocarditis.

Author information

  • 1Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Campus Virchow, Berlin, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Eur Heart J. 2013 Feb;34(8):604.



Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3)-induced myocarditis, initially considered a sole immune-mediated disease, also results from a direct CVB3-mediated injury of the cardiomyocytes. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have, besides immunomodulatory, also anti-apoptotic features. In view of clinical translation, we first analysed whether MSCs can be infected by CVB3. Next, we explored whether and how MSCs could reduce the direct CVB3-mediated cardiomyocyte injury and viral progeny release, in vitro, in the absence of immune cells. Finally, we investigated whether MSC application could improve murine acute CVB3-induced myocarditis.


Phase contrast pictures and MTS viability assay demonstrated that MSCs did not suffer from CVB3 infection 4-12-24-48 h after CVB3 infection. Coxsackievirus B3 RNA copy number decreased in this time frame, suggesting that no CVB3 replication took place. Co-culture of MSCs with CVB3-infected HL-1 cardiomyocytes resulted in a reduction of CVB3-induced HL-1 apoptosis, oxidative stress, intracellular viral particle production, and viral progeny release in a nitric oxide (NO)-dependent manner. Moreover, MSCs required priming via interferon-γ (IFN-γ) to exert their protective effects. In vivo, MSC application improved the contractility and relaxation parameters in CVB3-induced myocarditis, which was paralleled with a reduction in cardiac apoptosis, cardiomyocyte damage, left ventricular tumour necrosis factor-α mRNA expression, and cardiac mononuclear cell activation. Mesenchymal stem cells reduced the CVB3-induced CD4- and CD8- T cell activation in an NO-dependent way and required IFN-γ priming.


We conclude that MSCs improve murine acute CVB3-induced myocarditis via their anti-apoptotic and immunomodulatory properties, which occur in an NO-dependent manner and require priming via IFN-γ.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk