The cell-permeant peptide inhibitor of MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2), MMI-0100, inhibits MK2 and downstream fibrosis and inflammation. Recent studies have demonstrated that MMI-0100 reduces intimal hyperplasia in a mouse vein graft model, pulmonary fibrosis in a murine bleomycin-induced model and development of adhesions in conjunction with abdominal surgery. MK2 is critical to the pathogenesis of ischemic heart injury as MK2(-/-) mice are resistant to ischemic remodeling. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that inhibiting MK2 with MMI-0100 would protect the heart after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in vivo. AMI was induced by placing a permanent LAD coronary ligation. When MMI-0100 peptide was given 30 min after permanent LAD coronary artery ligation, the resulting fibrosis was reduced/prevented ~50% at a 2 week time point, with a corresponding improvement in cardiac function and decrease in left ventricular dilation. In cultured cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts, MMI-0100 inhibited MK2 to reduce cardiomyocyte caspase 3/7 activity, while enhancing primary cardiac fibroblast caspase 3/7 activity, which may explain MMI-0100's salvage of cardiac function and anti-fibrotic effects in vivo. These findings suggest that therapeutic inhibition of MK2 after acute MI, using rationally-designed cell-permeant peptides, inhibits cardiac fibrosis and maintains cardiac function by mechanisms that involve inhibiting cardiomyocyte apoptosis, while enhancing primary cardiac fibroblast cell death.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Cardiac ischemia; Fibrosis; MAPKAP kinase 2; MK2; MMI-0100.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.