Cardiac myosin induces myocarditis in genetically predisposed mice

N. Neu, N. R. Rose, K. W. Beisel, A. Herskowitz, G. Gurri-Glass, S. W. Craig

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398 Scopus citations


After infection with coxsackie virus B3 (CB3), H-2 congenic mice on an A- background develop immunologically mediated myocarditis associated with an increased titer of myosin autoantibody, part of which is specific for the cardiac myosin isoform. The present study demonstrates that cardiac myosin itself induces severe myocarditis and high titers of myosin autoantibodies in A/J, A.SW/SnJ, and A.CA/SnJ mice. As in CB3-induced myocarditis, one population of these autoantibodies was specific for cardiac myosin. A.BY/SnJ and B10.A/SgSnJ mice also developed the disease after immunization, but the prevalence and the myosin autoantibody titers were lower. In contrast, C57BL/6J and C57BL/10J mice were resistant to myocarditis induced by cardiac myosin and did not develop increased myosin autoantibodies or cardiac myosin-specific autoantibodies. Immunization with skeletal muscle myosin had no effect compared with controls injected with complete Freund's adjuvant, thereby suggesting that the immunogenic epitopes are unique to the cardiac myosin isoform. Furthermore, we found that susceptibility to myocarditis induced by cardiac myosin is influenced by the major histocompatibility complex and by genes not closely linked to the major histocompatibility complex. Because there are parallels between myocarditis induced by cardiac myosin and that induced by CB3, this new animal model can be used to analyze the pathologic mechanisms in autoimmune heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3630-3636
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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