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Nat Med. 2017 May;23(5):611-622. doi: 10.1038/nm.4326. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

A heart-brain-kidney network controls adaptation to cardiac stress through tissue macrophage activation.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Translational Systems Biology and Medicine Initiative, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Research Division Gobancho Building, Tokyo, Japan.
Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Research Division Gobancho Building, Tokyo, Japan.
Laboratory of Systems Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan.
Department of Disease Biology and Molecular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.


Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome characterized by insufficient cardiac function. In addition to abnormalities intrinsic to the heart, dysfunction of other organs and dysregulation of systemic factors greatly affect the development and consequences of heart failure. Here we show that the heart and kidneys function cooperatively in generating an adaptive response to cardiac pressure overload. In mice subjected to pressure overload in the heart, sympathetic nerve activation led to activation of renal collecting-duct (CD) epithelial cells. Cell-cell interactions among activated CD cells, tissue macrophages and endothelial cells within the kidney led to secretion of the cytokine CSF2, which in turn stimulated cardiac-resident Ly6Clo macrophages, which are essential for the myocardial adaptive response to pressure overload. The renal response to cardiac pressure overload was disrupted by renal sympathetic denervation, adrenergic β2-receptor blockade or CD-cell-specific deficiency of the transcription factor KLF5. Moreover, we identified amphiregulin as an essential cardioprotective mediator produced by cardiac Ly6Clo macrophages. Our results demonstrate a dynamic interplay between the heart, brain and kidneys that is necessary for adaptation to cardiac stress, and they highlight the homeostatic functions of tissue macrophages and the sympathetic nervous system.

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