Cardiac fibroblasts are critical mediators of fibrotic remodeling in the failing heart and transform into myofibroblasts in the presence of profibrotic factors such as transforming growth factor-β. Myocardial fibrosis worsens cardiac function, accelerating the progression to decompensated heart failure (HF). We investigated the effects of a novel inhibitor (NM922; NovoMedix, San Diego, CA) of the conversion of normal fibroblasts to the myofibroblast phenotype in the setting of pressure overload-induced HF. NM922 inhibited fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transformation in vitro via a reduction of activation of the focal adhesion kinase-Akt-p70S6 kinase and STAT3/4E-binding protein 1 pathways as well as via induction of cyclooxygenase-2.
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