Therapy

Surviving heart attack inflammation

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1144-1145
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6367.1144-f

Heart attack (myocardial infarction) causes cell death and inflammation of cardiac tissue. It is not yet clear what mechanisms specifically cause fatality. King et al. show that ischemia (restricted blood flow to the heart muscles) caused by infarction results in cell death. Debris from the dead cells is taken up by macrophages (a type of immune cell). This results in an interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and type I interferon (IFN) inflammatory response, which activates a distinct population of cardiac macrophages. Mice deficient in IRF3 and type I IFN signaling showed improved survival after myocardial infarction. Moreover, treatment of mice with neutralizing antibodies to the type I IFN receptor after myocardial infarction improved their survival, indicating that this might be an avenue for treatment.

Nat. Med. 10.1038/nm.4428 (2017).

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