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J Immunol. 2013 Nov 1;191(9):4838-48. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300725. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

IL-1 induces proinflammatory leukocyte infiltration and regulates fibroblast phenotype in the infarcted myocardium.

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Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.


In the infarcted myocardium, activation of the inflammatory cascade clears the wound from dead cells, whereas stimulating matrix degradation and chamber dilation, thus contributing to the development of heart failure. IL-1 is critically involved in the postinfarction inflammatory reaction and mediates adverse dilative remodeling. We hypothesized that IL-1 may regulate postinfarction repair and remodeling through cell-specific actions on leukocytes and fibroblasts. Flow cytometry demonstrated that in mouse infarcts, early recruitment of proinflammatory Ly6C(hi) cells expressing IL-1R1, the signaling receptor for IL-1, was followed by infiltration with cells expressing the decoy receptor, IL-1R2. Increased expression of IL-1R2 may serve to terminate IL-1-driven inflammation after infarction. Loss of IL-1 signaling in IL-1R1 null mice globally attenuated leukocyte recruitment, reducing the number of infiltrating Ly6C(hi) and Ly6C(lo) cells. Nonmyeloid CD11b(-) cells harvested during the inflammatory phase of cardiac repair exhibited marked upregulation of chemokines and cytokines; their inflammatory activation was IL-1R1 dependent. Moreover, IL-1β attenuated TGF-β-induced contractile activity of fibroblasts populating collagen pads, attenuated α-smooth muscle actin expression, and stimulated matrix metalloproteinase synthesis in an IL-1R1-dependent manner. The effects of IL-1 on TGF-β responses in cardiac fibroblasts were not due to direct effects on Smad activation, but were associated with endoglin suppression and accentuated expression of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, a negative regulator of TGF-β signaling. IL-1 may orchestrate fibroblast responses in the infarct; early stimulation of fibroblast IL-1R1 signaling during the inflammatory phase may prevent premature activation of a matrix-synthetic contractile phenotype until the wound is cleared, and the infarct microenvironment can support mesenchymal cell growth.

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