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Circulation. 2008 Feb 26;117(8):1055-64. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.749234. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Cardioprotective function of the long pentraxin PTX3 in acute myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.



Despite widespread clinical use as a prognostic marker in ischemic heart disorders, the actual pathogenetic role of the short pentraxin, C-reactive protein, has not undergone stringent genetic testing because of evolutionary divergence between mouse and humans. The long pentraxin PTX3 is conserved in evolution, is expressed in the heart under inflammatory conditions, and is a candidate prognostic marker in acute myocardial infarction. It was therefore important to assess whether PTX3 plays a pathogenetic role in acute myocardial infarction.


In a model of acute myocardial infarction caused by coronary artery ligation and reperfusion, tissue mRNA expression and circulating levels of PTX3 increased. The interleukin-1R-MyD88 pathway plays a pivotal role in the induction of PTX3 transcript after ischemia. ptx3-deficient mice showed exacerbated heart damage (33% larger infarcts in null mice; P=0.0047). Increased myocardial damage in ptx3-deficient mice was associated with a greater no-reflow area, increased neutrophil infiltration, decreased number of capillaries, and increased number of apoptotic cardiomyocytes. In addition, ptx3-deficient mice with acute myocardial infarction showed higher circulating levels of interleukin-6 and increased C3 deposition in lesional tissue. The phenotype was reversed by exogenous PTX3.


Thus, PTX3 plays a nonredundant, regulatory, cardioprotective role in acute myocardial infarction in mice. Our results suggest that modulation of the complement cascade contributes to the cardioprotective function of PTX3.

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