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Methods and results: Compared to matched naive mice, animals that had previously undergone BMT developed significantly less post-MI adverse remodelling, infarct thinning and contractile dysfunction as assessed by serial magnetic resonance imaging. Cardiac rupture in male mice was prevented. Histological analysis showed that the infarcts of mice that had undergone BMT had a significantly higher number of inflammatory cells, surviving cardiomyocytes and neovessels than control mice, as well as evidence of significant haemosiderin deposition. Flow cytometric and histological analyses demonstrated a higher number of alternatively activated (M2) macrophages in myocardium of the BMT group compared to control animals even before MI, and this increased further in the infarcts of the BMT mice after MI.
Conclusions: The process of BMT itself substantially alters tissue macrophage phenotype and the subsequent response to acute MI. An increase in alternatively activated macrophages in this setting appears to enhance cardiac recovery after MI.