Endogenous Thrombospondin 1 Protects the Pressure-Overloaded Myocardium by Modulating Fibroblast Phenotype and Matrix Metabolism
The matricellular protein thrombospondin (TSP) 1 is induced after tissue injury and may regulate reparative responses by activating transforming growth factor-β, by suppressing angiogenesis and by modulating inflammation and matrix metabolism. We hypothesized that endogenous TSP-1 may be involved in the pathogenesis of cardiac remodeling in the pressure-overloaded heart. Myocardial TSP-1 expression was increased in a mouse model of pressure overload because of transverse aortic constriction. TSP-1−/− mice exhibited increased early hypertrophy and enhanced late dilation in response to pressure overload. Pressure-overloaded TSP-1 null mice had intense degenerative cardiomyocyte changes, exhibiting more extensive sarcomeric loss and sarcolemmal disruption when compared with wild-type hearts. Accentuated hypertrophy and cardiomyocyte injury in TSP-1−/− hearts was accompanied by increased myofibroblast density. However, despite a 2-fold higher infiltration of the cardiac interstitium with myofibroblasts, pressure-overloaded TSP-1 null hearts did not exhibit significantly increased collagen content when compared with wild-type hearts. The disproportionately low collagen content in TSP-1 null hearts was attributed to infiltration with abundant, but functionally defective, fibroblasts that exhibited impaired myofibroblast differentiation and reduced collagen expression in comparison with wild-type fibroblasts. Impaired myofibroblast activation in TSP-1 null hearts was associated with reduced Smad2 phosphorylation reflecting defective transforming growth factor-β signaling. Moreover, TSP-1 null hearts had increased myocardial matrix metalloproteinase 3 expression and enhanced matrix metalloproteinase 9 activation after pressure overload. TSP-1 upregulation in the pressure-overloaded heart critically regulates fibroblast phenotype and matrix remodeling by activating transforming growth factor-β signaling and by promoting matrix preservation, thus preventing chamber dilation.
- matricellular proteins
- cardiac remodeling
- thrombospondin 1
- transforming growth factor-β1
- Received April 25, 2011.
- Revision received May 13, 2011.
- Accepted August 26, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.