Myocardial infarction (MI) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a cytokine present in most cardiac cells and is secreted upon necrosis where it acts as a functional ligand for the ST2 receptor. Although IL-33/ST2 axis is protective against various forms of cardiovascular diseases, some studies suggest potential detrimental roles for IL-33 signaling. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of IL-33 administration on cardiac function post-MI in mice. MI was induced by coronary artery ligation. Mice were treated with IL-33 (1µg/day) or vehicle for 4 and 7 days. Functional and molecular changes of the left ventricle (LV) were assessed. Single cell suspensions were obtained from bone marrow, heart, spleen, and peripheral blood to assess the immune cells using flow cytometry at 1, 3, and 7 days post-MI in IL-33 or vehicle-treated animals. The results of the present study suggest that IL-33 is effective in activating a type 2 cytokine milieu in the damaged heart, consistent with reduced early inflammatory and pro-fibrotic response. However, IL-33 administration was associated with worsened cardiac function and adverse cardiac remodeling in the MI mouse model. IL-33 administration increased infarct size, LV hypertrophy, cardiomyocyte death, and overall mortality rate due to cardiac rupture. Moreover, IL-33-treated MI mice displayed a significant myocardial eosinophil infiltration at 7 days post-MI when compared to vehicle-treated MI mice. This study reveals that although IL-33 administration is associated with a reparative phenotype following MI, it worsens cardiac remodeling and promotes heart failure.

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