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Circ J. 2014;78(7):1693-700. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Stiffness of left ventricular cardiac fibroblasts is associated with ventricular dilation in patients with recent-onset nonischemic and nonvalvular cardiomyopathy.

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ZIK-HIKE - Zentrum für Innovationskompetenz "Humorale Immunreaktionen bei kardiovaskulären Erkrankungen", University Medicine Greifswald.



Ventricular dilation is known as a pivotal predictor in recent-onset cardiomyopathy (ROCM), but its pathophysiology is not fully understood. In the present study we investigated whether single-cell stiffness of right and left ventricular-derived fibroblasts has an effect on cardiac phenotype in patients with ROCM.


Patients with endomyocardial biopsy-proven ROCM were included (n=10). Primary cardiac fibroblasts (CFBs) were cultured from left and right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies and their single-cell stiffness was analyzed by quantification of Young's modulus using colloidal probe atomic force microscopy. Cardiac fibrosis was analyzed by Masson's trichrome staining. CFBs from the left ventricle showed significantly decreased stiffness when compared with CFBs from the right ventricle, indexed by decreased stiffness (Young's modulus 3,374±389 vs. 4,837±690 Pa; P<0.05). Young's modulus of CFBs derived from the left ventricle correlated negatively with the left ventricular end-diastolic dimension derived from 2-dimensional echocardiography (R(2)=0.77; P<0.01). Neither left nor right ventricular fibrosis correlated with the respective ventricular dimensions.


Our data suggest that a decrease in single-cell stiffness of left ventricular fibroblasts could trigger left ventricular dilation in patients with ROCM. This implies a new potential mechanism for the ventricular dilation with this disease.

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