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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Dec 5;48(11):2315-23. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

The role of platelet-derived growth factor signaling in healing myocardial infarcts.

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Section of Cardiovascular Sciences, the DeBakey Heart Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



This study sought to examine the role of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling in healing myocardial infarcts.


Platelet-derived growth factor isoforms exert potent fibrogenic effects through interactions with PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-alpha and PDGFR-beta. In addition, PDGFR-beta signaling mediates coating of developing vessels with mural cells, leading to the formation of a mature vasculature. We hypothesized that PDGFR activation may regulate fibrosis and vascular maturation in healing myocardial infarcts.


Mice undergoing reperfused infarction protocols were injected daily with a neutralizing anti-PDGFR-beta antibody (APB5), an anti-PDGFR-alpha antibody (APA5), or control immunoglobulin G, and were killed after 7 days of reperfusion.


The PDGF-B, PDGFR-alpha, and PDGFR-beta mRNA expression was induced in reperfused mouse infarcts. Perivascular cells expressing phosphorylated PDGFR-beta were identified in the infarct after 7 days of reperfusion, indicating activation of the PDGF-BB/PDGFR-beta pathway. The PDGFR-beta blockade resulted in impaired maturation of the infarct vasculature, enhanced capillary density, and formation of dilated uncoated vessels. Defective vascular maturation in antibody-treated mice was associated with increased and prolonged extravasation of red blood cells and monocyte/macrophages, suggesting increased permeability. These defects resulted in decreased collagen content in the healing infarct. In contrast, PDGFR-alpha inhibition did not affect vascular maturation, but significantly decreased collagen deposition in the infarct.


Platelet-derived growth factor signaling critically regulates postinfarction repair. Both PDGFR-beta- and PDGFR-alpha-mediated pathways promote collagen deposition in the infarct. Activation of PDGF-B/PDGFR-beta is also involved in recruitment of mural cells by neovessels, regulating maturation of the infarct vasculature. Acquisition of a mural coat and maturation of the vasculature promotes resolution of inflammation and stabilization of the scar.

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