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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Fas/Fas ligand system is involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune myocarditis in rats.

The mechanisms responsible for myocardial injury and cell death in myocarditis are still unclear. We examined whether myocardial cell death occurs via apoptosis in myosin-induced autoimmune myocarditis in rats and whether the Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system plays a role in this apoptosis. On days 14, 17, 21, and 35 after immunization with porcine heart myosin, some cardiomyocytes and infiltrating lymphocytes were found to be apoptotic on in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay, but none was on day 60 and in control rats. Apoptotic indices peaked at day 17, and laddering of genomic DNA from the affected myocardium was observed on days 17 and 21 on agarose gel electrophoresis. The expression of Fas mRNA and protein was detected on days 17 and 21 in some cardiomyocytes and infiltrating lymphocytes by Northern blot analysis and immunohistochemistry, respectively. In addition, FasL was detected in some infiltrating lymphocytes on days 14, 17, and 21 by both in situ hybridization and immunostaining, and FasL-positive lymphocytes were mainly CD4+ cells. Some rats were injected with anti-Fas Ab (0.1 mg/kg) or anti-FasL Ab (0.1 mg/kg), and subsequently, inflammatory lesions exhibited less severe than did untreated rats with myocarditis. These findings suggest that cell death via apoptosis of cardiomyocytes and lymphocytes is one of the mechanisms of myocardial injury in autoimmune myocarditis, and that the Fas/FasL system might play a role in the induction of this apoptosis.[1]


  1. The Fas/Fas ligand system is involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune myocarditis in rats. Ishiyama, S., Hiroe, M., Nishikawa, T., Shimojo, T., Abe, S., Fujisaki, H., Ito, H., Yamakawa, K., Kobayashi, N., Kasajima, T., Marumo, F. J. Immunol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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