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Distribution of myocardial macrophages in the normal human heart

  • MAY AZZAWI (a1), PHILIP S. HASLETON (a2), SAU WAN KAN (a3), VALERIE F. HILLIER (a3), ALICIA QUIGLEY (a3) and IAN V. HUTCHINSON (a1)...

Abstract

Macrophages are important in inflammatory processes in heart disease and in transplantation rejection. A resurgence of interest in the macrophage has emanated from recent evidence implicating it as an effector cell in atherosclerosis and transplantation rejection. The detailed distribution of the macrophage within the normal human heart is unknown. We quantified macrophage numbers in the different chambers of the heart. Large tissue blocks (1.5–2.0 cm3) were removed from specific sites in 5 ‘normal’ control hearts (2 males, 3 females, age range 19–46 y). Paraffin-embedded sections were stained with a CD68 pan macrophage marker. Positive cells were enumerated within 20 random fields. Results were analysed using a generalised linear modelling method using the Poisson distribution. Macrophages were identified within septa, and often close to blood vessels, in the myocardium, and in the majority of areas in all hearts. Macrophage numbers varied significantly between areas (range 0–6 cells/high power field; P<0.001), and between the 5 hearts analysed (P<0.001). In general, there were significantly more macrophages in the ventricles (RV P<0.01, LV P<0.05), but these differences were affected by heart differences. This study provides a baseline for the range of macrophage numbers within normal hearts, thus enabling comparisons with macrophage numbers within diseased and transplanted hearts.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr May Azzawi, Immunology Group, School of Biological Sciences (3.239), University of Manchester Medical School, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.

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Distribution of myocardial macrophages in the normal human heart

  • MAY AZZAWI (a1), PHILIP S. HASLETON (a2), SAU WAN KAN (a3), VALERIE F. HILLIER (a3), ALICIA QUIGLEY (a3) and IAN V. HUTCHINSON (a1)...

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