Blocking CCL5-CXCL4 heteromerization preserves heart function after myocardial infarction by attenuating leukocyte recruitment and NETosis

Tanja Vajen, Rory R. Koenen, Isabella Werner, Mareike Staudt, Delia Projahn, Adelina Curaj, Tolga Taha Sönmez, Sakine Simsekyilmaz, David Schumacher, Julia Möllmann, Tilman M. Hackeng, Philipp von Hundelshausen, Christian Weber, Elisa A. Liehn
Scientific Reports2018
Myocardial infarction (MI) is a major cause of death in Western countries and finding new strategies for its prevention and treatment is thus of high priority. In a previous study, we have demonstrated a pathophysiologic relevance for the heterophilic interaction of CCL5 and CXCL4 in the progression of atherosclerosis. A specifically designed compound (MKEY) to block this CCL5-CXCR4 interaction is investigated as a potential therapeutic in a model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) damage. 8 week-old male C57BL/6 mice were intravenously treated with MKEY or scrambled control (sMKEY) from 1 day before, until up to 7 days after I/R. By using echocardiography and intraventricular pressure measurements, MKEY treatment resulted in a significant decrease in infarction size and preserved heart function as compared to sMKEY-treated animals. Moreover, MKEY treatment significantly reduced the inflammatory reaction following I/R, as revealed by specific staining for neutrophils and monocyte/ macrophages. Interestingly, MKEY treatment led to a significant reduction of citrullinated histone 3 in the infarcted tissue, showing that MKEY can prevent neutrophil extracellular trap formation in vivo. Disrupting chemokine heterodimers during myocardial I/R might have clinical benefits, preserving the therapeutic benefit of blocking specific chemokines, and in addition, reducing the inflammatory side effects maintaining normal immune defence.

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