Interventions in Wnt signaling as a novel therapeutic approach to improve myocardial infarct healing
Department of Pharmacology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, 50 Universiteitssingel, 6229ER Maastricht, PO Box 616 6200MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair 2012, 5:16 doi:10.1186/1755-1536-5-16Published: 11 September 2012
Following myocardial infarction, wound healing takes place in the infarct area where the non-viable cardiac tissue is replaced by a scar. Inadequate wound healing or insufficient maintenance of the extracellular matrix in the scar can lead to excessive dilatation of the ventricles, one of the hallmarks of congestive heart failure. Therefore, it is important to better understand the wound-healing process in the heart and to develop new therapeutic agents that target the infarct area in order to maintain an adequate cardiac function. One of these potential novel therapeutic targets is Wnt signaling. Wnt signaling plays an important role in embryonic myocardial development but in the adult heart the pathway is thought to be silent. However, there is increasing evidence that components of the Wnt pathway are re-expressed during cardiac repair, implying a regulatory role. Recently, several studies have been published where the effect of interventions in Wnt signaling on infarct healing has been studied. In this review, we will summarize the results of these studies and discuss the effects of these interventions on the different cell types that are involved in the wound healing process.