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Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia type-1 (HHT1) is a genetic vascular disorder caused by haploinsufficiency of the TGFβ co-receptor endoglin. Dysfunctional homing of HHT1 mononuclear cells (MNCs) towards the infarcted myocardium hampers cardiac recovery. HHT1-MNCs have elevated expression of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4/CD26), which inhibits recruitment of CXCR4-expressing MNCs by inactivation of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1). We hypothesize that inhibiting DPP4 will restore homing of HHT1-MNCs to the infarcted heart and improve cardiac recovery. After inducing myocardial infarction (MI), wild type (WT) and endoglin heterozygous (Eng+/-) mice were treated for 5 days with the DPP4 inhibitor Diprotin A (DipA). DipA increased the number of CXCR4+ MNCs residing in the infarcted Eng+/- hearts (Eng+/- 73.17±12.67 vs. Eng+/- treated 157.00±11.61, P = 0.0003) and significantly reduced infarct size (Eng+/- 46.60±9.33% vs. Eng+/- treated 27.02±3.04%, P = 0.03). Echocardiography demonstrated that DipA treatment slightly deteriorated heart function in Eng+/- mice. An increased number of capillaries (Eng+/- 61.63±1.43 vs. Eng+/- treated 74.30±1.74, P = 0.001) were detected in the infarct border zone whereas the number of arteries was reduced (Eng+/- 11.88±0.63 vs. Eng+/- treated 6.38±0.97, P = 0.003). Interestingly, while less M2 regenerative macrophages were present in Eng+/- hearts prior to DipA treatment, (WT 29.88±1.52% vs. Eng+/- 12.34±1.64%, P<0.0001), DPP4 inhibition restored the number of M2 macrophages to wild type levels. In this study, we demonstrate that systemic DPP4 inhibition restores the impaired MNC homing in Eng+/- animals post-MI, and enhances cardiac repair, which might be explained by restoring the balance between the inflammatory and regenerative macrophages present in the heart.


Calinda K E Dingenouts, Wineke Bakker, Kirsten Lodder, Karien C Wiesmeijer, Asja T Moerkamp, Janita A Maring, Helen M Arthur, Anke M Smits, Marie-José Goumans. Inhibiting DPP4 in a mouse model of HHT1 results in a shift towards regenerative macrophages and reduces fibrosis after myocardial infarction. PloS one. 2017;12(12):e0189805

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PMID: 29253907

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