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Cell Tissue Res. 2006 Jun;324(3):475-88. Epub 2006 Feb 22.

Extracellular matrix remodeling in canine and mouse myocardial infarcts.

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  • 1Section of Cardiovascular Sciences, The DeBakey Heart Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Extracellular matrix proteins not only provide structural support, but also modulate cellular behavior by activating signaling pathways. Healing of myocardial infarcts is associated with dynamic changes in the composition of the extracellular matrix; these changes may play an important role in regulating cellular phenotype and gene expression. We examined the time course of extracellular matrix deposition in a canine and mouse model of reperfused infarction. In both models, myocardial infarction resulted in fragmentation and destruction of the cardiac extracellular matrix, extravasation of plasma proteins, such as fibrinogen and fibronectin, and formation of a fibrin-based provisional matrix providing the scaffold for the infiltration of granulation tissue cells. Lysis of the plasma-derived provisional matrix was followed by the formation of a cell-derived network of provisional matrix composed of cellular fibronectin, laminin, and hyaluronic acid and containing matricellular proteins, such as osteopontin and osteonectin/SPARC. Finally, collagen was deposited in the infarct, and the wound matured into a collagen-based scar with low cellular content. Although the canine and mouse infarcts exhibited a similar pattern of extracellular matrix deposition, deposition of the provisional matrix was more transient in the mouse infarct and was followed by earlier formation of a mature collagen-based scar after 7-14 days of reperfusion; at the same timepoint, the canine infarct was highly cellular and evolving. In addition, mature mouse infarcts showed limited collagen deposition and significant tissue loss leading to the formation of a thin scar. In contrast, dogs exhibited extensive collagen accumulation in the infarcted area. These species-specific differences in infarct wound healing should be taken into account when interpreting experimental infarction studies and when attempting to extrapolate the findings to the human pathological process.

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