Mechanical complications of myocardial infarction (MI) are often fatal. Little is known about endogenous factors that predispose to myocardial rupture after MI. Ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (CD39) could be a critical mediator of propensity to myocardial rupture after MI due to its role in modulating inflammation and thrombosis. Using a model of permanent coronary artery ligation, rupture was virtually abrogated in cd39–/– mice versus cd39+/+ controls, with elevated fibrin and collagen deposition and marked neutrophil and macrophage influx. Macrophages were found to display increased surface expression of CD301 and CD206, marking a reparative phenotype, driven by increased extracellular ATP and IL-4 in the infarcted myocardium of cd39–/– mice. A myeloid-specific CD39-knockout mouse also demonstrated protection from rupture, with an attenuated rupture phenotype, suggesting that complete ablation of CD39 provides the greatest degree of protection in this model. Absence of CD39, either globally or in a myeloid lineage–restricted fashion, skews the phenotype toward alternatively activated (reparative) macrophage infiltration following MI. These studies reveal a previously unrecognized and unexpected role of endogenous CD39 to skew macrophage phenotype and promote a propensity to myocardial rupture after MI.
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