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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2007 Oct;43(4):517-22. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Pharmacological inhibition of epsilon PKC suppresses chronic inflammation in murine cardiac transplantation model.

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Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine CCSR, Rm 3145A, 269 Campus Drive Stanford, CA 94305-5174, USA.


Epsilon protein kinase C (epsilonPKC) plays pivotal roles in myocardial infarction and in heart failure. Although cardiac transplantation is a well-established therapy for severe heart failure, allograft rejection and host inflammatory responses limit graft function and reduce life expectancy. Here we determined whether sustained epsilonPKC inhibition beginning 3 days after transplantation suppress allograft rejection and improve cardiac transplantation using a murine heterotopic transplantation model. Hearts of FVB mice (H-2(q)) were transplanted into C57BL/6 mice (H-2(b)). Delivery of the epsilonPKC inhibitor, TAT(47-57)-epsilonV1-2 (epsilonV1-2, n=9, 20 mg/kg/day), or the carrier control peptide, TAT(47-57) (TAT, n=8), by osmotic pump began 3 days after transplantation and continued for the remaining 4 weeks. epsilonV1-2 treatment significantly improved the beating score throughout the treatment. Infiltration of macrophages and T cells into the cardiac grafts was significantly reduced and parenchymal fibrosis was decreased in animals treated with epsilonV1-2 as compared with control treatment. Finally, the rise in pro-fibrotic cytokine, TGF-beta and monocyte recruiting chemokine MCP-1 levels was almost abolished by epsilonV1-2 treatment, whereas the rise in PDGF-BB level was unaffected. These data suggest that epsilonPKC activity contributes to the chronic immune response in cardiac allograft and that an epsilonPKC-selective inhibitor, such as epsilonV1-2, could augment current therapeutic strategies to suppress inflammation and prolong graft survival in humans.

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