A novel fibroblast activation inhibitor attenuates left ventricular remodeling and preserves cardiac function in heart failure

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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