Kawasaki disease (KD), the leading cause of acquired cardiac disease among children, is often associated with myocarditis that may lead to long-term myocardial dysfunction and fibrosis. Although those myocardial changes develop during the acute phase, they may persist for decades and closely correlate with long-term myocardial sequelae. Using the Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract–induced (LCWE-induced) KD vasculitis murine model, we investigated long-term cardiovascular sequelae, such as myocardial dysfunction, fibrosis, and coronary microvascular lesions following adrenergic stimuli after established KD vasculitis. We found that adrenergic stimulation with isoproterenol following LCWE-induced KD vasculitis in mice was associated with increased risk of cardiac hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis, diminished ejection fraction, and increased serum levels of brain natriuretic peptide. Myocardial fibrosis resulting from pharmacologic-induced exercise after KD development was IL-1 signaling dependent and was associated with a significant reduction in myocardial capillary CD31 expression, indicative of a rarefied myocardial capillary bed. These observations suggest that adrenergic stimulation after KD vasculitis may lead to cardiac hypertrophy and bridging fibrosis in the myocardium in the LCWE-induced KD vasculitis mouse model and that this process involves IL-1 signaling and diminished microvascular circulation in the myocardium.
Harry H. Matundan, Jon Sin, Magali Noval Rivas, Michael C. Fishbein, Thomas J. Lehman, Shuang Chen, Roberta A. Gottlieb, Timothy R. Crother, Masanori Abe, Moshe Arditi