Cardiac-specific ablation of the STAT3 gene in the subacute phase of myocardial infarction exacerbated cardiac remodeling

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2015 Aug 1;309(3):H471-80. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00730.2014. Epub 2015 Jun 8.


STAT3 is a cardioprotective molecule against acute myocardial injury; however, recent studies have suggested that chronic STAT3 activation in genetically modified mice was detrimental after myocardial infarction (MI). In the present study, we assessed the biological significance of STAT3 activity in subacute MI using tamoxifen (TM)-inducible cardiac-specific STAT3 knockout (STAT3 iCKO) mice. After coronary ligation, STAT3 was rapidly activated in hearts, and its activation was sustained to the subacute phase. To make clear the pathophysiological roles of STAT3 activation specifically in subacute MI, MI was generated in STAT3 iCKO mice followed by TM treatment for 14 consecutive days beginning from day 11 after MI, which ablated the STAT3 gene in the subacute phase. Intriguingly, mortality was increased by TM treatment in STAT3 iCKO mice, accompanied by an increased heart weight-to-body weight ratio. Masson's trichrome staining demonstrated that cardiac fibrosis was dramatically exacerbated in STAT3 iCKO mice 24 days after MI (fibrotic circumference: 58.3 ± 6.7% in iCKO mice and 40.8 ± 9.3% in control mice), concomitant with increased expressions of fibrosis-related gene transcripts, including matrix metalloproteinase 9, procollagen 1, and procollagen 3. Echocardiography clarified that cardiac function was deteriorated in STAT3 iCKO mice (fractional shortening: 20.6 ± 4.1% in iCKO mice and 29.1 ± 6.0% in control mice). Dihydroethidium fluorescence analysis revealed that superoxide production was increased in STAT3 iCKO mice. Moreover, immunohistochemical analyses revealed that capillary density was decreased in STAT3 iCKO mice. Finally, STAT3 deletion in subacute MI evoked severe cardiac hypertrophy in the border zone. In conclusion, the intrinsic activity of STAT3 in the myocardium confers the resistance to cardiac remodeling in subacute MI.

Keywords: cardiac remodeling; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3; signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Procollagen / genetics
  • Procollagen / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / deficiency
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Ventricular Remodeling*


  • Procollagen
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Superoxides
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, mouse