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Cardiovasc Res. 1999 Jun;42(3):670-9.

The role of Bcl6 in mature cardiac myocytes.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Genetics, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.



The Bcl6 gene encodes a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor and is ubiquitously expressed in adult murine tissues including heart muscle. The objective of this study was to examine the role of Bcl6 in cardiac myocytes.


We developed Bcl6-deficient (Bcl6-/-) mice and histologically examined hearts from these mice.


Massive myocarditis with eosinophilic infiltration occurred in Bcl6-/- mice after 4-6 weeks of age. Since expression of the Bcl6 gene was induced in normal cardiac myocytes after 2 weeks of age and thereafter detected through adulthood, loss of Bcl6 in mature cardiac myocytes may be related to the induction of eosinophilic myocarditis. To examine the effects of eosinophils from Bcl6-/- mice on normal hearts, bone marrow cells from Bcl6-/- mice were adoptively transferred into sublethally irradiated RAG1-deficient mice. Although massive eosinophilic infiltration was detected in conjunctivas and spleens from the chimeric mice, myocarditis was never observed. Electron microscopic analysis of cardiac myocytes from Bcl6-/- mice revealed a spectrum of degenerative changes prior to eosinophilic infiltration.


Bcl6 maynot be essential for the maturation of cardiac myocytes but may play a role in protecting mature cardiac myocytes from eosinophilic inflammation.

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