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J Clin Invest. 1994 Sep;94(3):1026-36.

Autoimmune myocarditis induced in mice by cardiac C-protein. Cloning of complementary DNA encoding murine cardiac C-protein and partial characterization of the antigenic peptides.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


Autoimmune myocarditis is considered to play a major role in the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy. A new autoimmune myocarditis model was attained by repeated immunization using murine cardiac C-protein with the immunological adjuvant, Klebsiella pneumoniae O3 lipopolysaccharide. For further analysis of a pathological epitope, the cDNA encoding C-protein was isolated; a fusion protein encoded by part of this cDNA induced myocarditis in SMA mice as well as in three other strains: DBA/1J (H-2q), O20/A (H-2pz1), and SJL (H-2s). The nucleotide sequence and its deduced amino acid analysis revealed that this protein had immunoglobulin-like and fibronectin-like repeats. This study provides a new animal model of autoimmune myocarditis which may shed light on the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy.

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