Immune-inflammatory dysregulation modulates the incidence of progressive fibrosis and diastolic stiffness in the aging heart

Katarzyna A. Cieslik, George Taffet, Signe Carlson, Jesus Hermosillo, Jo Ann Trial, Mark L. Entman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Diastolic dysfunction in the aging heart is a grave condition that challenges the life and lifestyle of a growing segment of our population. This report seeks to examine the role and interrelationship of inflammatory dysregulation in interstitial myocardial fibrosis and progressive diastolic dysfunction in aging mice. We studied a population of C57BL/6 mice that developed progressive diastolic dysfunction over 30months of life. This progressive dysfunction was associated with increasing infiltration of CD45+ fibroblasts of myeloid origin. In addition, increased rates of collagen expression as measured by cellular procollagen were apparent in the heart as a function of age. These cellular and functional changes were associated with progressive increases in mRNA for MCP-1 and IL-13, which correlated both temporally and quantitatively with changes in fibrosis and cellular procollagen levels. MCP-1 protein was also increased and found to be primarily in the venular endothelium. Protein assays also demonstrated elevation of IL-4 and IL-13 suggesting a shift to a Th2 phenotype in the aging heart. In vitro studies demonstrated that IL-13 markedly enhanced monocyte-fibroblast transformation. Our results indicate that immunoinflammatory dysregulation in the aging heart induces progressive MCP-1 production and an increased shift to a Th2 phenotype paralleled by an associated increase in myocardial interstitial fibrosis, cellular collagen synthesis, and increased numbers of CD45+ myeloid-derived fibroblasts that contain procollagen. The temporal association and functional correlations suggest a causative relationship between age-dependent immunoinflammatory dysfunction, fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Aging myocardium
  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Fibrosis
  • IL-13
  • MCP-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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