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Treatment with TNF-α or bacterial lipopolysaccharide attenuates endocardial endothelial cell-mediated stimulation of cardiac fibroblasts

Leena Kuruvilla1 and Cheranellore Chandrasekharan Kartha12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Cellular & Molecular Cardiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram 695011, India

2 Professor of Eminence, Disease Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram 695014, India

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Journal of Biomedical Science 2009, 16:21  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-16-21

Published: 17 February 2009



The endocardial endothelium that lines the inner cavity of the heart is distinct from the microvascular endothelial cells and modulates cardiac muscle performance in a manner similar to the vascular endothelial modulation of vascular structure and vasomotor tone. Although the modulatory effects of endocardial endothelium (EE) on cardiomyocytes are firmly established, the regulatory effects of endocardial endothelium on the cardiac interstitium and its cellular components remain ill defined.

Methods and Results

We investigated whether the stimulatory effect of EE on cardiac fibroblasts would be altered when EECs are activated by the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) or the endotoxin bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Both TNF-α and LPS were found to independently attenuate the stimulatory effect of EE on cardiac fibroblasts. These agents lowered the synthesis or release of ET-1 and increased the secretion of TGF-β and NO.


The findings of this study using endocardial endothelial cells (EECs) and neonatal cardiac fibroblasts demonstrate that pro-inflammatory cytokines cause altered secretion of paracrine factors by EECs and inhibit proliferation and lower collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. These changes may influence fibroblast response and extra cellular matrix remodeling in pathological conditions of the heart.