Mast cells have been implicated as important in tissue remodeling and fibrosis. We investigated the effect of mechanical ventricular unloading upon myocardial fibrosis and cardiac mast cell density in patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. Paired myocardial tissue samples were obtained from 30 patients with end-stage cardiomyopathy at the time of LVAD implantation and at the time of removal and were compared with samples taken from donor hearts. Tissue sections were stained and quantitated for mast cells and myocardial fibrosis. Mast cell density (tryptase positive cells) in cardiomyopathy was higher than that in donor hearts (33.5 ± 3.6 SEM cells/10 fields vs.15.2 ± 2.0 SEM cells/10 fields respectively, p = 0.04) and was lower than LVAD supported hearts (33.5 ± 3.6 SEM cells/10 fields vs. 49.8 ± 5.7 SEM cells/10 fields respectively, p = 0.01). Mast cells are primarily localized in areas of increased interstitial fibrosis adjacent to myocardial cells and not vessels. There was statistically significant correlation between mast cells and interstitial collagen (p = 0.03) in patients before LVAD implantation that did not persist after mechanical support (p = 0.18). These results suggest that mechanical support with left ventricular assist devices induces an increase in mast cell number in the myocardium and an associated decrease in myocardial fibrosis. We believe these data demonstrate a dual role for cardiac mast cells in the increase in fibrosis in heart failure and the decrease after LVAD and its associated cardiac improvement.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - May 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering