Autoimmune myocarditis: Cellular mediators of cardiac dysfunction

Marina Afanasyeva, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos, Noel R. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Immune mediators play a critical role in the pathogenesis and outcomes of a number of cardiac diseases. This review summarizes recent findings on the composition of the inflammatory infiltrate and the role of different types and subtypes of immune cells and their products in mediating cardiac dysfunction in experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). CD4 + T cells are required for initiation of myocarditis and their numbers in the heart infiltrate correlate with systolic dysfunction during disease progression. Other immune cells, including CD8 + T cells, granulocytes, and mast cells, can directly affect cardiomyocyte function. When regulatory mechanisms fail, the local damage leads to cardiomyocyte death, replacement fibrosis and overall cardiac dysfunction. EAM provides insights into the role of the immune system in the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and heart failure and may serve as a general paradigm for autoimmune organ-specific tissue damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-486
Number of pages11
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number7-8 SPEC.ISS.
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Autoantibody
  • Cardiac function
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Granulocyte
  • Mast cell
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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