Acute myocardial infarction induces activation of the acute phase response and infiltration of leukocytes to the infarcted area. Moreover, myocardium that is remote from ischemic area also becomes inflamed. Inflammatory reaction clears dead cells and matrix debris, while prolongation or expansion of the inflammatory response results in dysfunction following myocardial infarction. Wnt glycolipoproteins are best characterized as regulators of embryonic development. Recently several reports suggest that they also contribute to the inflammatory response in adult animals. However, the effects of Wnt proteins on myocardial infarction have not been explored. Here we show that Wnt11 expression leads to significant improvements of survival and cardiac function by suppressing infiltration of multiple kinds of inflammatory cells in infarcted heart. Wnt11 protein suppresses gene expression of inflammatory cytokines through the modulation of NF-K B in vitro. These results reveal a novel function of Wnt11 in the regulation of inflammatory response and provide a rationale for the use of Wnt11 to manipulate human diseases that are mediated by inflammation.
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