A role for T lymphocytes in mediating cardiac diastolic function

Qianli Yu, Ronald R. Watson, John J. Marchalonis, Douglas F. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The induction of T helper (TH) lymphocytes by distinct TH ligands results in a differentiation to TH1/TH2 subsets based on their unique pattern of cytokine secretion and effector functions. We hypothesized that the relative proportion of TH1/TH2 directly relates to cardiac fibroblast (CF) function and thereby cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and cardiac diastolic function in the absence of injury or altered wall stress. We compared the effect of selective TH1 with TH2 inducers on cardiac gene expression, ECM composition, and diastolic function in C57BL/J mice. Twelve weeks after immune modulation, the left ventricular stiffness (β) was significantly increased in the TH1 group and decreased in the TH2 group (P < 0.01). The TH2 group also demonstrated significantly increased end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes (P < 0.01). Cardiac gene expression patterns for pro-matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and -13 were increased by greater than fivefold in the TH2 group and significantly decreased in the TH1 group (P < 0.05). The total cardiac collagen and cross-linked collagen were significantly increased in the TH1 group and decreased in the TH2 group (P < 0.01). Coculturing lymphocytes harvested from the treated mice with naive primary CF demonstrated a direct control of the lymphocytes on CF pro-collagen, pro-MMP gene expression, and MMP activity. These results suggest that the TH phenotype differentially affects diastolic function through modulating CF pro-collagen and pro-MMP gene expression, MMP activity, and cardiac collagen cross-linking, resulting in altered ECM composition. Thus modulation of TH lymphocyte function could promote adaptive remodeling in heart failure and postmyocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H643-H651
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 58-2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Cardiac fibroblast
  • Collagen types I and III
  • Cross-linking
  • Extracellular matrix
  • LP-BM5 retrovirus
  • T helper 1
  • T helper 2
  • T-cell receptor peptide
  • T-helper cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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