p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition improves cardiac function and attenuates left ventricular remodeling following myocardial infarction in the rat.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Oct 19; 44(8):1679-89.JACC
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor, RWJ-67657 (RWJ), on left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and remodeling post-myocardial infarction (MI) in rats.
p38 MAPK signaling has been implicated in the progression of chronic heart failure.
From day 7 post-MI (coronary artery ligation), rats received either RWJ (50 mg/day, by gavage, n = 8, MI+RWJ) or vehicle (by gavage, n = 8, MI+V) for 21 days. Echocardiography was performed on day 6, before the commencement of treatment, and on day 27. In vivo hemodynamic measurements were made on day 28. Sham-operated rats served as controls.
The LV end-diastolic pressure and lung/body weight ratio were reduced, whereas the maximum rate of rise of LV pressure was increased towards sham levels in MI+RWJ compared with MI+V. Baseline echocardiographic studies demonstrated uniform LV remodeling and dysfunction in MI rats. Fractional shortening (FS) further deteriorated in MI+V, whereas FS was preserved in MI+RWJ. Progressive LV dilation and infarct expansion observed in MI+V were inhibited in MI+RWJ. MI+RWJ also demonstrated increased myocyte hypertrophy in the peri-infarct and non-infarct zones, and reduced myocardial collagen and alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA) immunoreactivity compared with MI+V. The antifibrotic effects of RWJ in vivo may reflect direct effects on cardiac fibroblasts, because RWJ attenuated transforming growth factor beta-1-stimulated collagen synthesis and alpha-SMA expression in isolated cardiac fibroblasts. RWJ also protected cultured myocytes from hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis.
RWJ-67657 treatment post-MI had beneficial effects on LV remodeling and dysfunction, supporting a key role for p38 MAPK in pathologic cell signaling in these processes and its inhibition as a novel therapy.