There is increasing evidence that myocardial fibrosis plays a role in the pathogenesis of diastolic dysfunction in hypertensive heart disease. However, it has been difficult to explore the mechanisms of isolated diastolic dysfunction in hypertensive hearts because of the lack of adequate animal models. Recently, we demonstrated that Wistar rats with a suprarenal aortic constriction (AC) can be used as a model of cardiac hypertrophy associated with preserved systolic, but impaired diastolic function without overt congestive heart failure. In this model, acute pressure elevation induces reactive myocardial fibrosis (perivascular fibrosis followed by intermuscular interstitial fibrosis) and myocyte/left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy. Perivascular macrophage infiltration, which is mediated by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1, exerts a key role in myocardial fibrosis, but not in myocyte/LV hypertrophy. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is crucial for reactive fibrosis in AC rats. MCP-1 function blocking not only inhibits macrophage infiltration and TGF-β induction but also prevents reactive fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction, without affecting blood pressure, myocyte/LV hypertrophy, or systolic function. Accordingly, a substantial role of inflammation is indicated in myocardial fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction in hypertensive hearts. Currently, the precise mechanisms whereby acute pressure elevation triggers inflammation remain unknown, but it is likely that activation of the tissue angiotensin system is involved in the induction of the inflammatory process.
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Kai, H., Kuwahara, F., Tokuda, K. et al. Diastolic Dysfunction in Hypertensive Hearts: Roles of Perivascular Inflammation and Reactive Myocardial Fibrosis. Hypertens Res 28, 483–490 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1291/hypres.28.483
- myocardial fibrosis
- angiotensin II
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