Apr 24, 2020

Blocking the death checkpoint protein TRAIL improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction in monkeys, pigs, and rats

Science Translational Medicine
Yaohui WangYuanfang Ma


Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of death worldwide for which there is no cure. Although cardiac cell death is a well-recognized pathological mechanism of MI, therapeutic blockade of cell death to treat MI is not straightforward. Death receptor 5 (DR5) and its ligand TRAIL [tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand] are up-regulated in MI, but their roles in pathological remodeling are unknown. Here, we report that blocking TRAIL with a soluble DR5 immunoglobulin fusion protein diminished MI by preventing cardiac cell death and inflammation in rats, pigs, and monkeys. Mechanistically, TRAIL induced the death of cardiomyocytes and recruited and activated leukocytes, directly and indirectly causing cardiac injury. Transcriptome profiling revealed increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in infarcted heart tissue, which was markedly reduced by TRAIL blockade. Together, our findings indicate that TRAIL mediates MI directly by targeting cardiomyocytes and indirectly by affecting myeloid cells, supporting TRAIL blockade as a potential therapeutic strategy for treating MI.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cessation of Life
Protein Expression
Heart Tissue
Pathologic Processes
Up-Regulation (Physiology)
Myeloid Cells

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