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Tranilast attenuates myocardial fibrosis in association with suppression of monocyte/macrophage infiltration in DOCA/salt hypertensive rats

Kagitani, Satoshi; Ueno, Hitoshi; Hirade, Satoshi; Takahashi, Toru; Takata, Masanobu; Inoue, Hiroshi

Original Papers: Heart

Objective In order to study the association between myocardial fibrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration in the hypertensive heart, we investigated whether N(3,4-dimethoxycinnamoyl) anthranilic acid (tranilast), an anti-inflammatory drug, would suppress myocardial fibrosis via inhibition of inflammatory cell infiltration in deoxycorticosterone-acetate (DOCA) hypertensive rats.

Methods Sprague–Dawley rats treated with DOCA combined with the addition of 1% NaCl and 0.2% KCl in the drinking water after left nephrectomy were given tranilast (100 mg/kg per day, n = 15) or vehicle (n = 15) for up to 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), amount of myocardial interstitial fibrosis, perivascular fibrosis and type I and III collagen, and mRNA expression of procollagen I (PI) and procollagen III (PIII), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and interleukin (IL)-6 were determined.

Results SBP was increased significantly 2 weeks after treatment with DOCA and salt. Myocardial interstitial fibrosis, perivascular fibrosis and collagen accumulation increased significantly 4 weeks after the treatment. Two weeks after the treatment with DOCA and salt, mRNA expression of PI and PIII, TGF-β1, PAI-1, MCP-1 and IL-6 increased significantly. Although the SBP was similar in animals treated with tranilast or vehicle, monocyte/macrophage infiltration was suppressed, mRNA expression of TGF-β1, PAI-1, MCP-1, IL-6, PI and PIII was attenuated, and myocardial fibrosis and collagen accumulation were suppressed in hypertensive animals receiving tranilast.

Conclusion Myocardial fibrosis seen in DOCA/salt hypertensive rats might be associated with the inflammation/wound healing response. Tranilast suppresses both infiltration of monocytes/macrophages and myocardial fibrosis.

Second Department of Internal Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Hitoshi Ueno, MD, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan. Tel: +81 76 434 7297; fax: +81 76 434 5026; e-mail:

Received 18 September 2003 Revised 13 January 2004 Accepted 26 January 2004

See editorial commentary on page 883

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.