4 years ago

RORγt-expressing cells attenuate cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction

Kotaro Matsumoto, Masanori Obana, Tomomi Yamashita, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Arisa Kobayashi, Makiko Maeda, Yasushi Fujio, Daichi Enomoto

by Daichi Enomoto, Kotaro Matsumoto, Tomomi Yamashita, Arisa Kobayashi, Makiko Maeda, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Masanori Obana, Yasushi Fujio


Retinoic acid receptor-related orphan nuclear receptor γt (RORγt) is a transcriptional factor responsible for IL-17-producing T-cell differentiation. Although it was demonstrated that RORγt plays essential roles in the onset of autoimmune myocarditis, pathophysiological significance of RORγt in cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) remains to be fully elucidated.

Methods and results

MI was generated by ligating coronary artery. The expression of RORγt and IL-17A transcripts increased in murine hearts after MI. Additionally, immunohistochemical staining revealed that RORγt-expressing cells infiltrated in the border zone after MI. Flow cytometric analysis showed that RORγt-expressing cells were released from the spleen at day 1 after MI. Though RORγt-expressing cells in spleen expressed γδTCR or CD4, γδTCR+ cells were major population of RORγt-expressing cells that infiltrated into post-infarct myocardium. To address the biological functions of RORγt-expressing cells in infarcted hearts, we used mice with enhanced GFP gene heterozygously knocked-in at RORγt locus (RORγt+/- mice), which physiologically showed reduced expression of RORγt mRNA in thymus. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that MI-induced mortality was higher in RORγt+/- mice than wild-type (WT) mice. Masson’s trichrome staining demonstrated that cardiac injury was exacerbated in RORγt+/- mice 7 days after MI (Injured area: RORγt+/-; 42.1±6.5%, WT; 34.0±3.7%, circumference of injured myocardium: RORγt+/-; 61.8±4.8%, WT; 49.6±5.1%), accompanied by exacerbation of cardiac function (fractional shortening: RORγt+/-; 32.9±2.9%, WT; 38.3±3.6%). Moreover, immunohistochemical analyses revealed that capillary density in border zone was significantly reduced in RORγt+/- mice after MI, compared with WT mice, associated with the reduced expression of angiopoietin 2. Finally, the mRNA expression of RORγt, IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) mRNA and protein expression of IL-10 were decreased in RORγt+/- hearts.


Heterozygous deletion of RORγt gene resulted in aggravated cardiac remodeling, accompanied by reduced capillary density, after MI, suggesting that RORγt-expressing cells contribute to tissue repair in infarcted myocardium.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183584

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