Cardiac remodelling refers to molecular and cellular changes of the myocardium, as well as adapting alterations in size, shape and function of the heart in response to changing loading conditions. It represents the final common pathway of different heart diseases, and is recognized as a crucial aspect of cardiac and myocardial dysfunction and a well established determinant of the clinical course of heart failure.Osteopontin is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein secreted by osteoblasts, osteoclasts, macrophages, T cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes. Osteopontin is not expressed in healthy cardiac tissue, although its expression can be triggered by pressure or volume overload, hypoxia and angiotensin II. Indeed, osteopontin has been reported in macrophages and interstitial tissues early after myocardial infarction and in cardiac macrophage-like cells of inflammatory lesions in experimental models of cardiomyopathy. Pressure overload is associated with osteopontin overexpression as well. Indeed, myocardial osteopontin messenger RNA is upregulated in rats following renovascular hypertension or aortic banding. In humans, a significant correlation exists between increased osteopontin immunoreactivity in cardiac myocytes and impaired left ventricular function or cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.The present article focuses on the role of osteopontin in myocardial hypertrophy and remodelling. In general, evidence supports the concept that osteopontin plays a crucial role in extracellular matrix remodelling following myocardial adaptation to hypertrophic, inflammatory and neurohormonal stimuli in the overloaded heart. Â© 2009 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.
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