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Circ Res. 2005 Apr 29;96(8):823-30. Epub 2005 Mar 17.

Hepatocyte growth factor ameliorates the progression of experimental autoimmune myocarditis: a potential role for induction of T helper 2 cytokines.

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1
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) plays a role in cell protection, antiapoptosis, antifibrosis, and angiogenesis. However, the role of HGF in the immune system is not well defined. We examined the influence of HGF on T cells and the effects of HGF therapy in acute myocarditis. Lewis rats were immunized on day 0 with cardiac myosin to establish experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). Human HGF gene with hemagglutinating virus of the Japan-envelope vector was injected directly into the myocardium on day 0 or on day 14 (two groups of treated rats). Rats were killed on day 21. Expression of c-Met/HGF receptor in splenocytes and myocardial infiltrating cells was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining or FACS analysis. Myocarditis-affected areas were smaller in the treated rats than in control rats. Cardiac function in the treated rats was markedly improved. An antigen-specific T cell proliferation assay was done with CD4-positive T cells isolated from control rats stimulated with cardiac myosin. HGF suppressed T cell proliferation and production of IFN-gamma and increased production of IL-4 and IL-10 secreted from CD4-positive T cells in vitro. Additionally, TUNEL assay revealed that HGF reduced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. HGF reduced the severity of EAM by inducing T helper 2 cytokines and suppressing apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. HGF has potential as a new therapy for myocarditis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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