Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is characterized by left ventricular systolic dysfunction and heart failure. However, its pathogenesis is not clear. Our preliminary study revealed that autoantibodies against β1-adrenergic receptors (β1R-AABs) and M2-muscarinic receptors (M2R-AABs) participated in heart failure regardless of primary heart disease. Whether β1R-AABs and M2R-AABs participate in the pathogenesis of PPCM is still unknown.
Methods: Totally 37 diagnosed PPCM patients and 36 normal pregnant women were enrolled in this study. Clinical assessment and 2-dimensional echocardiographic studies as well as the measurement of β1R-AABs or M2R-AABs by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed.
Results: The positive rates for β1R-AABs and M2R-AABs were 59.5% (22/37) and 45.9% (17/37) in PPCM patients, and 19.4% (7/36) (P<0.001) and 16.67% (6/36) (P<0.001) in normal pregnant women, respectively. Both β1R-AABs and M2R-AABs had a positive correlation with serum expression level of NT-proBNP, left ventricular dimension and NYHA FC (rs: 0.496-0.892, P<0.01). In addition, a negative correlation between the activity of β1R-AABs and M2R-AABs and LVEF, LVFS was observed (rs: -0.488-0.568, P<0.01). Moreover, autoantibodies against cardiovascular receptors increased the risk of the onset of PPCM (OR = 18.786, 95% confidence interval 1.926-183.262, P = 0.012).
Conclusions: The β1R-AABs and M2R-AABs reveal a significant elevation and are correlated with the increased left ventricular dimension and worse cardiac contraction function. The autoantibodies of cardiovascular receptors are independent risk factors for the onset of PPCM.