Mast cell-deficiency protects mice from streptozotocin-induced diabetic cardiomyopathy.


Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: [Email]


Mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases by releasing pro-inflammatory mediators. Patients and animals with diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) also show inflammatory cell accumulation in the heart. Here, we detected MCs in mouse heart after streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DCM. DCM production caused significant systole and diastole interventricular septum and left ventricular (LV) posterior wall thinning, and systolic LV internal dilation in wild-type (WT) mice. DCM production also led to significant reductions of fractional shortening percentage, heart rate, body weight, heart weight, and significant increases of kidney, pancreas, and lung weight to body weight ratios, and blood hemoglobin HbA1c and glucose levels in WT mice. All these changes were improved or disappeared in MC-deficient KitW-sh/W-sh mice. In the myocardium from WT DCM mice, we detected significant decrease of cardiac cell proliferation and increases of cardiac cell death, chemokine expression, macrophage infiltration, inflammatory cytokine expression, and collagen deposition. These changes were also improved or disappeared in KitW-sh/W-sh DCM mice. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow-derived MCs (BMMCs) from WT mice fully or partially reversed these cardiac functional and morphologic changes in KitW-sh/W-sh DCM recipient mice. Yet, adoptive transfer of BMMCs from Il6-/- and Tnf-/- mice failed to make these corrections or at much less extent than the WT BMMCs. Mechanistic studies demonstrated a role of MC and MC-derived IL6 and TNF-α in promoting cardiomyocyte death and cardiac fibroblast TGF-β signaling, and collagen synthesis and deposition. Therefore, MC inhibition may have therapeutic potential in attenuating DCM progression.