Neutrophils Modulate Fibroblast Function and Promote Healing and Scar Formation after Murine Myocardial Infarction

Adelina Curaj, David Schumacher, Mihaela Rusu, Mareike Staudt, Xiaofeng Li, Sakine Simsekyilmaz, Vera Jankowski, Joachim Jankowski, Andreea Ramona Dumitrascu, Derek J. Hausenloy, Alexander Schuh, Elisa A. Liehn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: Recruitment of neutrophils to the heart following acute myocardial infarction (MI) initiates inflammation and contributes to adverse post-infarct left ventricular (LV) remodeling. However, therapeutic inhibition of neutrophil recruitment into the infarct zone has not been beneficial in MI patients, suggesting a possible dual role for neutrophils in inflammation and repair following MI. Here, we investigate the effect of neutrophils on cardiac fibroblast function following MI. Methods and Results: We found that co-incubating neutrophils with isolated cardiac fibroblasts enhanced the production of provisional extracellular matrix proteins and reduced collagen synthesis when compared to control or co-incubation with mononuclear cells. Furthermore, we showed that neutrophils are required to induce the transient up-regulation of transforming growth factor (TGF)-ss 1 expression in fibroblasts, a key requirement for terminating the pro-inflammatory phase and allowing the reparatory phase to form a mature scar after MI. Conclusion: Neutrophils are essential for both initiation and termination of inflammatory events that control and modulate the healing process after MI. Therefore, one should exercise caution when testing therapeutic strategies to inhibit neutrophil recruitment into the infarct zone in MI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3685
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • myocardial infarction
  • inflammation
  • neutrophils
  • fibroblasts
  • extracellular matrix formation
  • scar formation
  • AT(1)


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