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To assess the restorative effects and mechanism of Apelin-13 (A13) on the peri-infarct region in murine acute myocardial injury (AMI) model.
51 FVB/N mice (12weeks, 30g) underwent AMI. A week following injury, continuous micro-pump infusion of A13 (0.5μg/g/day) and saline was initiated for 4-week duration. Dual contrast MRI was conducted on weeks 1, 2, 3, and 5, consisting of delayed-enhanced and manganese-enhanced MRI. Four mice in each group were followed for an extended period of 4weeks without further infusion and underwent MRI scans on weeks 7 and 9.
A13 infusion demonstrated preserved LVEF compared to saline from weeks 1 to 4 (21.9±3.2% to 23.1±1.7%* vs. 23.5±1.7% to 16.9±2.8%, *p=0.02), which persisted up to 9weeks post-MI (+1.4%* vs. -9.4%, *p=0.03). Mechanistically, dual contrast MRI demonstrated significant decrease in the peri-infarct and scar % volume in A13 group from weeks 1 to 4 (15.1 to 7.4% and 34.3 to 25.1%, p=0.02, respectively). This was corroborated by significant increase in 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU(+)) cells by A13 vs. saline groups in the peri-infarct region (16.5±3.1% vs. 8.1±1.6%; p=0.04), suggesting active cell mitosis. Finally, significantly enhanced mobilization of CD34(+) cells in the peripheral blood and up-regulation of APJ, fibrotic, and apoptotic genes in the peri-infarct region were found.
A13 preserves cardiac performance by salvaging the peri-infarct region and may contribute to permanent restoration of the severely injured myocardium.