Septicemia is an emerging pathological condition involving, among other effects, refractory hypotension and heart dysfunction. Here we have investigated the contribution of resident nonmyocytic cells to heart alterations after lipopolysaccharide administration. These cells contributed to the rapid infiltration of additional inflammatory cells that enhance the onset of heart disease through the release of inflammatory mediators. Early activation of resident monocytic cells played a relevant role on the infiltration process, mainly of major histocompatibility complex class II- and CD11b-positive cells. This infiltration was significantly impaired in animals lacking the nitric-oxide synthase-2 (NOS-2) gene or after pharmacological in-hibition of NOS-2 or cylooxygenase-2, suggesting a significant contribution of nitric oxide and prostanoids to the infiltration process. Under these conditions, the expression of NOS-2 and cylooxygenase-2 in the whole organ was attenuated because cardiomyocytes failed to express these enzymes. However, cardiomyocytes expressed and activated matrix metalloproteinase-9 through mechanisms regulated, at least in part, by nitric oxide and prostaglandins in an additive way. These results directly link the inflammatory response in the heart and extracellular matrix remodeling by the matrix metalloproteinases released by the cardiomyocytes, suggesting that activation and recruitment of inflammatory cells to the heart is a major early event in cardiac dysfunction promoted by septicemia.
- Inflamatory cells
- Heart failure