Tissue-resident Sca1+ PDGFRα+ mesenchymal progenitors are the cellular source of fibrofatty infiltration in arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy

F1000Res. 2013 Jun 19:2:141. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-141.v1. eCollection 2013.


Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) is a disease of the heart involving myocardial dystrophy leading to fibrofatty scarring of the myocardium and is associated with an increased risk of both ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. It often affects the right ventricle but may also involve the left. Although there has been significant progress in understanding the role of underlying desmosomal genetic defects in AC, there is still a lack of data regarding the cellular processes involved in its progression. The development of cardiac fibrofatty scarring is known to be a principal pathological process associated with ventricular arrhythmias, and it is vital that we elucidate the role of various cell populations involved in the disease if targeted therapeutics are to be developed. The known role of mesenchymal progenitor cells in the reparative process of both the heart and skeletal muscle has provided inspiration for the identification of the cellular basis of fibrofatty infiltration in AC. Here we hypothesize that reparative processes triggered by myocardial degeneration lead to the differentiation of tissue-resident Sca1+ PDGFRα+ mesenchymal progenitors into adipocytes and fibroblasts, which compose the fibrofatty lesions characteristic of AC.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by a grant-in-aid awarded to Fabio MV Rossi from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (grant number: 000025).