Sema3A promotes the resolution of cardiac inflammation after myocardial infarction

Marieke Rienks*, Paolo Carai, Nicole Bitsch, Mark Schellings, Maarten Vanhaverbeke, Johan Verjans, Ilona Cuijpers, Stephane Heymans, Anna Papageorgiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Optimal healing after myocardial infarction requires not only the induction of inflammation, but also its timely resolution. In patients, 30 days post myocardial infarction, circulating monocytes have increased expression of Semaphorin3A (Sema3A) as compared to directly after admission. This increased expression coincides with increased expression of Cx3CR1-a marker of non-classical monocytes that are important for immune resolution hence proper wound healing. In mice, the expression of Sema3A also increases in response to myocardial ischemia being expressed by infiltrating leukocytes. Comparing Sema3A heterozygote (HZ) and wild type (WT) mice post myocardial infarction, revealed increased presence of leukocytes in the cardiac tissues of HZ mice as compared to WT, with no differences in capillary density, collagen deposition, cardiomyocyte surface area, chemokine-or adhesion molecules expression. Whilst infarct sizes were similar 14 days after myocardial infarction in both genotypes, Sema3A HZ mice had thinner infarcts and reduced cardiac function as compared to their WT littermates. In vitro experiments were conducted to study the role of Sema3A in inflammation and resolution of inflammation as a potential explanation for the differences in leukocyte recruitment and cardiac function observed in our in vivo experiments. Here, recombinant Sema3A protein was able to affect the pro-inflammatory state of cultured bone marrow derived macrophages. First, the pro-inflammatory state was altered by the induced apoptosis of classical macrophages in the presence of Sema3A. Second, Sema3A promoted the polarization of classical macrophages to resolution-phase macrophages and enhanced their efferocytotic ability, findings that were reflected in the infarcted cardiac tissue of the Sema3A HZ mice. Finally, we demonstrated that besides promoting resolution of inflammation, Sema3A was also able to retard the migration of monocytes to the myocardium. Collectively our data demonstrate that Sema3A reduces cardiac inflammation and improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction by promoting the resolution of inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Number of pages13
JournalBasic Research in Cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Myocardial infarction
  • Inflammation
  • Heart failure
  • Semaphorin3A


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