Aims: The transglutaminase factor XIII (FXIII) emerges as a key enzyme in healing after myocardial infarction (MI). Here we assess the impact of transglutaminase-modulating therapies on healing and evolution of heart failure using a novel, non-invasive molecular imaging technique.
Methods and results: Immunoblotting revealed lower FXIII levels in the myocardium of nine patients with infarct rupture when compared to MI patients without rupture (P < 0.0045). In a murine model of MI, we assessed healing while modulating local FXIII activity. Infarct tissue activity was monitored with molecular in vivo single photon emission computed tomography-computed tomography (SPECT-CT) imaging, and activity was found to be increased by 80% in FXIII-treated mice (400 IU FXIII/kg iv.), and decreased by 65% in dalteparin (DP)-treated mice (600 IU/kg DP sc., P < 0.05). DP-treated mice exhibited increased mortality due to infarct rupture (64% by day 7, P < 0.018). Serial Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) showed that left ventricular dilation post-MI was attenuated by FXIII treatment when compared to saline control-treated mice with MI (P = 0.04). Quantitative histological and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that FXIII treatment induced a faster resolution of the neutrophil response, enhanced macrophage recruitment, increased collagen content and augmented angiogenesis in the healing infarct (P < 0.05 vs. control-treated mice with MI).
Conclusion: FXIII tissue levels are decreased in patients with insufficient healing. Therapeutic strategies that modulate FXIII activity impact murine myocardial healing. Molecular imaging of FXIII activity predicts prognosis in mice with experimental MI.