Viral Myocarditis

Science's STKE  19 Dec 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 63, pp. tw5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.63.tw5

Viral infection can result in injury to the cardiac tissue due to either a primary effect of the virus itself or the subsequent induced immune response. DeBiasi et al. show that a double-stranded RNA virus, reovirus strain 8B, caused cardiac tissue damage and induced apoptosis in infected mice. Apoptosis was correlated with increased calpain activity, not with caspase activation. Treatment of infected mice with the calpain inhibitor CX95 (a dipeptide α-ketoamide compound) prevented reovirus 8B-induced cardiac tissue damage and apoptosis and allowed the mice to grow at the same rate as uninfected mice. Thus, calpain inhibition may be a therapeutically useful mechanism for preventing myocardial damage due to infection by a double-stranded RNA virus.

DeBiasi, R.L., Edelstein, C.L., Sherry, B., and Tyler, K.L. (2000) Calpain inhibition protects against virus-induced apoptotic myocardial injury. J. Virol. 75: 351-361. [Abstract] [Full Text]