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Circ Res. 2014 Feb 28;114(5):916-27. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302819.

Dynamic changes in myocardial matrix and relevance to disease: translational perspectives.

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From the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (A.-H.L., P.P.L.); University of Toronto, Heart & Stroke/Lewar Centre of Excellence, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (P.P.L.); University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine (F.J.V., R.A.G.); and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pennington, NJ (R.A.G.).


The cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) provides the architectural scaffold to support efficient contraction and relaxation of cardiomyocytes. The elegant design of the ECM facilitates optimal force transduction, electric transmission, intercellular communication, and metabolic exchange within the myocardial microenvironment. In the setting of increased wall stress, injury, or disease, the ECM can undergo a series of dynamic changes that lead to favorable chamber remodeling and functional adaptation. Over time, sustained matrix remodeling can impair diastolic and systolic function caused by excess deposition of interstitial fibrous tissue. These pathological alterations in ECM structure/function are considered central to the evolution of adverse cardiac remodeling and the development of heart failure. This review discusses the complex dynamics of the cardiac ECM in the setting of myocardial infarction, pressure overload, and volume overload. We also summarize the current status of ECM biomarkers that may have clinical value in prognosticating cardiac disease progression in patients. Finally, we discuss the most current status of drugs under evaluation for use in cardiac fibrosis.


biological marker; collagen; extracellular matrix

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