Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Aug 1;317(2):H405-H414. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00133.2019. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Characterization of a mouse model of hypereosinophilia-associated heart disease.

Author information

Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Hypereosinophilic syndrome is characterized by sustained and marked eosinophilia leading to tissue damage and organ dysfunction. Morbidity and mortality occur primarily due to cardiac and thromboembolic complications. Understanding the cause and mechanism of disease would aid in the development of targeted therapies with greater efficacy and fewer side effects. We discovered a spontaneous mouse mutant in our colony with a hypereosinophilic phenotype. Mice develop peripheral blood eosinophilia; infiltration of lungs, spleen, and heart by eosinophils; and extensive myocardial damage and remodeling. This ultimately leads to heart failure and premature death. Histopathological assessment of the hearts revealed a robust inflammatory infiltrate composed primarily of eosinophils and B-lymphocytes, associated with myocardial damage and replacement fibrosis, consistent with eosinophilic myocarditis. In many cases, hearts showed dilatation and thinning of the right ventricular wall, suggestive of an inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy. Most mice showed atrial thrombi, which often filled the chamber. Protein expression analysis revealed overexpression of chemokines and cytokines involved in innate and adaptive immunity including IL-4, eotaxin, and RANTES. Disease could be transferred to wild-type mice by adoptive transfer of splenocytes from affected mice, suggesting a role for the immune system. In summary, the pathologies observed in the mutant lines are reminiscent of those seen in patients with hypereosinophilia, where cardiac-related morbidities, like congestive heart failure and thrombi, are the most common causes of death. As such, our model provides an opportunity to test mechanistic hypotheses and develop targeted therapies.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This article describes a new model of heart disease in hypereosinophilia. The model developed as a spontaneous mouse mutant in the colony and is characterized by peripheral blood eosinophilia and infiltration of lungs, spleen, and heart by eosinophils. In the heart, there is extensive myocardial damage, remodeling, fibrosis, and thrombosis, leading to heart failure and death. The immune microenvironment is one of increased innate and adaptive immunity, including Th1 and Th2 cytokines/chemokines. Finally, adoptive transfer of splenocytes transfers disease to recipient mice. In summary, this model provides an opportunity to test mechanistic hypotheses and develop targeted therapies for this rare but devastating disease.

[Available on 2020-08-01]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center