Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 2010, Vol.134(5), pp.503-517
Chronic cardiac rejection is represented by cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and cardiac interstitial fibrosis (CIF) known to cause severe complications. These processes are accompanied by remarkable changes in the cardiac extra cellular matrix (cECM). The aim of our study was to analyse the cECM remodelling in chronic rejection and to elucidate a potential role of ED-A domain containing fibronectin (ED-A + Fn), alpha smooth muscle actin (ASMA) and B domain containing tenascin-C (B + Tn-C). A model of chronic rejection after heterotopic rat heart transplantation was used. Allografts, recipient and control hearts were subjected to histological assessment of rejection grade, to real-time PCR based analysis of 84 genes of ECM and adhesion molecules and to immunofluorescence labelling procedures, including ED-A + Fn, ASMA and B + Tn-C antibodies. Histological analysis revealed different grades of chronic rejection. By gene expression analysis, a relevant up-regulation of the majority of ECM genes in association with chronic rejection could be shown. For 8 genes, there was a relevant up-regulation in allografts as well as in the corresponding recipient hearts. Association of ASMA positive cells with the grade of chronic rejection could be proven. In CAV and also in CIF there were extensive co-depositions of ED-A + Fn, ASMA and B + Tn-C. In conclusion, chronic cardiac allograft rejection is associated with a cECM remodelling. ASMA protein deposition in CAV, and CIF is a valuable marker to detect chronic rejection. Interactions of VSMCs and Fibro-/Myofibroblasts with ED-A + Fn and B + Tn-C might functionally contribute to the development of chronic cardiac rejection.
Chronic cardiac rejection ; Extra cellular matrix ; ED-A fibronectin ; Alpha smooth muscle actin ; B tenascin-C ; Cardiac allograft vasculopathy ; Cardiac interstitial fibrosis
View full text in Springer (Subscribers only)